The giant of the Polish economy hosts the giants of the seas
Supersize container carriers continue to call at the Port of Gdansk. A series of the world's largest container ships owned by the Danish consortium Maersk are now docking at DCT Gdansk.
The date 11 May 2011 marked a milestone in the history of the Port of Gdansk, as was the case with 4 January 2010 when "Maersk Taikung" launched the direct container service from Asia ports to Gdansk. The weekly calls of "Maersk Line" vessels carrying more than 8,000 TEU - which triggered the intensified feeder traffic on the Baltic - will now be operated by twice bigger ships. The first in a series - "Maersk Elba" - can take on board over 13,000 20-feet containers. During her first visit to Gdansk, she will discharge 1,088 TEU and take 2,349 TEU.
At midnight 10 May, "Elba" was passing the midpoint of the Polish coastline at an efficient speed of 15.8 knots. At 10.30 CET, she reported the arrival to the Port of Gdansk roadstead, and barely an hour later almost completed the docking operation at the DCT quay. The efficiency and capacity testing of the Port of Gdansk's personnel was successfully accomplished. The ship's monumental hull (366 metres long and 48 metres wide) safely and swiftly moored at the container pier where the handling operation was about to begin.
The record capacity set by this giant vessel (with more than 142,000 DWT), which raised the admiration of the Gdansk residents who came to see the ship, was previously held by the Korean tanker "Universal Queen" (309,000 DWT but 33 metres shorter due to construction reasons), which called at the Northern Port four years ago. This record will not be long lived as on 25 May DCT Gdansk expects the arrival of "Maersk Eleonora", which is 32 metres longer and 8 metres wider, and capable of carrying 15.5 thou. TEU (398 x 56 m) at a time.
The current record-holding vessels was navigated to Gdansk by Polish captain Wojciech Kucz who headed the crew of barely 13 staff. These world's longest container ships of the Danish consortium Maersk raise emotions all across the places where they appear. The admiration and respect is evoked not only thanks to the monumental size of the vessels and the automation enabling navigation with a small crew, but also the powerful engines designed to ensure top efficiency and environmental protection. Naming Gdansk as Mearsk's easternmost Baltic port and bypassing Hamburg - which was previously the port of call - is a token of utmost appreciation to the Polish seaport.
Gdansk continues to consolidate its position on the shipping routes. This port facility, which in 2010 confirmed the title of Poland's leading seaport by handling a record volume of more than 27 million tonnes of cargo, has now - within less than 4 months of 2011 - handled over 10.5 million tonnes. In addition to liquid fuels (more than 5.5 million tonnes), the vital share of container turnover is rapidly rising. From among this year's forecasted throughput of 800 thou. TEU, nearly 230 thou. TEU have already been processed. However, all these figures co-occurring with the adjective "record" fail to reflect the most important parameter attesting to the seaport's actual significance for the national economy: the value of the handled commodities. Therefore, it should be stressed that the Port of Gdansk handles cargos with an annual value exceeding 100 billion PLN. How many "economic giants" are there that can be listed among the Polish companies making a similar contribution to Poland's GDP?
PGA SA PR Officer