Sharjah-based Gulftainer recently welcomed the CMA CGM operated containership, Antoine De Saint Exupery, on its maiden call at the Khorfakkan Container Terminal (KCT). The 20,600 teu capacity, 400m long vessel is the largest containership to call at KCT to date.
CMA CGM has deployed the newbuilding on its French Asia Line 1 service, which connects Asia to Northern Europe. Prior to its arrival at KCT, the vessel, which is longer than four football fields and bigger than the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower, had made calls in a number of major ports within Europe.
Speaking on the occasion, Peter Richards, group chief executive of Gulftainer, said: “Receiving one of the largest containerships in the world signifies our ability to deliver the highest standards of operational efficiency, which is of tremendous value to large vessels such as this.”
Following recent upgrades, including the deployment of the Marine and Container Handling (MACH) terminal operating system and the addition of new container handling cranes, Gulftainer believes KCT is well-positioned to meet the needs of customers with newer, larger ships, and to handle higher volumes per call. The terminal also claims a very successful track record in handling alliance volumes, with multiple operators on the same vessel.
Richards added: “Given the fast-paced changes in the industry, we are constantly reviewing our services and capabilities across our portfolio. While KCT has traditionally been used as a transhipment hub, we are increasingly receiving gateway cargo as well, which we see as a massive opportunity going forward.”