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Australia docks its largest container ship as CMA CGM expands route capacity

CMA CGM Pelleas becomes the largest container ship sailing to Australia (VICT)

Published September 22, 2023 20:37 by

The Maritime Executive

The largest container ship to dock in Australia and deploy to the country is currently completing its inaugural circuit around the country. While it is not a new vessel, it demonstrates the growth in trade for the country and the broader trend in the shipping industry for carriers to employ larger ships on routes to improve operational efficiency.

He CMA CGM Pelleas, registered in Malta, is currently in Melbourne, Australia, as its second stop on a circuit that takes it to three Australian ports. The 120,853 dwt container ship was placed on the route sailing between Xiamen, Shanghai and Ningo in China, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and the ports of Botany Bay (Sydney), Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia.

At 1,148 feet long and with a capacity of 9,661 TEU, it becomes the largest container ship to ever dock in Australia, according to operators at the Victoria International Container Terminal. She is not a new ship that has been in service for 15 years, but the deployment of the 2008-built ship demonstrates CMA CGM’s continued efforts to increase vessel size on traditionally second-tier routes. The French company has also sent large ships, for example, along the east coast of the United States, to ports ranging from New York, New Jersey to Miami.

“There is a global trend by shipping lines towards the use of larger ships, which are more efficient due to their carrying capacity,” says Bruno Porchietto, CEO of Victoria International Container Terminals (VICT). He predicts that large ships like the CMA CGM Pelleas They are likely to become more common in Melbourne Harbour.

Port of Melbourne and VICT executives emphasize that they are responding to trends and preparing the port for this growth. By the end of the year, Porchietto says the port will be able to simultaneously dock two ships of this size or even larger.

“Because our operations are located at the entrance to the port, our facilities can easily accommodate these larger vessels that cannot navigate further into Melbourne’s Yarra River due to length and height restrictions,” explains Porchietto.

The port has recently taken delivery of two new quayside cranes, which are also the largest in Australia. ICTSI, VICT’s parent company, is investing $151 million to expand VICT’s capacity up to 1.25 million TEU when the project is completed in late 2023.

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