The COSCO Shipping Aries is the first Chinese container vessel with a capacity of more than 20,000 standard containers (TEU) to call at the HHLA terminal Tollerort. There it will be handled by five high-performance gantry cranes that HHLA has built in recent years for vessels of this size.
The new flagship of COSCO Shipping Lines sailed into the Port of Hamburg on its maiden voyage on Friday morning at around 9 a.m. It is being handled at the mega-ship berth at the HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT). COSCO ships have been calling at the facility regularly since 1982. Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Minister for Economy, Transport and Innovation, and Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board, were joined by representatives of the shipping company and the Chinese consulate in Hamburg to welcome the COSCO Shipping Aries and celebrate the strong, long-standing collaboration between companies from both countries.
Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Minister for Economy, Transport and Innovation, emphasised the close links between Hamburg and China. Almost one in three containers handled in the Port of amburg comes from China or is on its way there. Horch mentioned digitisation and sustainability as two of the core topics for both countries, and in this context evoked the Green Shipping Line project, which aims to supply container ships in Shanghai and Hamburg with shore-side electricity in future.
Horch thanked everyone who had contributed to the smooth arrival of the COSCO Shipping Aries and expressed his confidence that planning consent for the dredging of the navigation channel of the river Elbe will be granted in the course of the year, allowing the dredging to begin immediately.
Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board, said: “Our companies have been working successfully together for more than 35 years. HHLA has been preparing to handle large ships like the COSCO Shipping Aries for a long time now. We have continuously invested in our facilities, as we have here at Tollerort. We want to continue to justify the trust our customers place in us by delivering excellent performance and high-quality service.”
Titzrath announced that HHLA would be upgrading another berth at Tollerort for vessels with a capacity of more than 20,000 TEU. HHLA currently has three berths for handling these mega-ships at its terminals Burchardkai (CTB) and Tollerort. The CMA CGM Antoine de Saint-Exupéry will be the next ship of more than 20,000 TEU to call on its maiden voyage at the CTB in mid-March. From May onwards, the Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen will also be sending ships of this size to Tollerort.
Three of the five 20,000 TEU gantry cranes at Tollerort went into service in autumn 2017. Their other two identical models have been in operation there since early 2017. All five have a jib length of 74 metres and a lifting height of 51.5 metres above the quay wall. They are designed for container ships with 24 transverse container rows and can discharge and load two 20-foot containers simultaneously when operating in twin mode. The increased lifting height of the gantry cranes enables them to handle up to nine containers placed on top of one another on deck. Each container gantry crane weighs 1,500 tonnes and can handle a maximum payload of 63 tonnes. Unlike other container gantry cranes, the new gantry cranes at CTT have lattice jibs, giving them a comparatively low overall weight.
Handling of the COSCO Shipping Aries is expected to be completed by 6 p.m. on Sunday evening at the CTT mega-ship berth. This berth was also broken in with the handling of a COSCO vessel. On 16 July 2011, the COSCO Glory, with its carrying capacity of 13,000 TEU, became the first mega-ship to dock at the newly upgraded quay wall. Since then, the flagships in the COSCO Shipping fleet have grown considerably larger – just like the CTT container gantry cranes.