Tuesday the Port of Barcelona received the first port call of the MSC Sixin, the second largest container ship in the world, which is performing a loading and unloading operation at the Hutchison Ports BEST terminal.
The MSC Sixin, owned by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), is part of the class known as "MSC Gülsün" - named after the first ship of this type - and its 23,756 TEU capacity, 400-metre length and 61-metre width make it the second largest container ship in the world today. At present only one other ship at sea, the HMM Algeciras, has a greater capacity.
To mark the first call by MSC Sixin, Mercè Conesa, President of the Port of Barcelona, presented a commemorative plaque to the ship's captain, Anil Kumar Menon. The event was also attended by Salvador Richart, Branch Manager of MSC; and Guillermo Belcastro, CEO of Hutchison Ports BEST.
During the welcome ceremony, the Port President thanked MSC for its "commitment to Barcelona, especially during these months in which there is a very significant decline in international maritime traffic and, consequently, cancelled calls and concentrations of maritime services". In the same vein, she added that "the arrival of these large MSC Gülsün class ships, which ply the Jade maritime service between Europe and Asia, further consolidates the Port of Barcelona as a distribution hub for the flows of goods between both continents".
Ms Conesa then explained that "thanks to our infrastructures, technology and services, the Port of Barcelona and its logistics community are prepared to respond to the challenge posed by the arrival of ships of this size". The President added that, in these globally uncertain times for health and the economy caused by COVID-19 "we must be attentive to the changes taking place in trade and transport flows around the world and we need all the actors involved - shippers, ports and shipping companies - to work together to meet the needs of the companies we serve".
Finally, the Port President recalled that "the design of ships such as the MSC Sixin represent a significant reduction in the emissions from each container transported compared to those of ships in service so far, and is therefore aligned with the environmental objectives of the Port of Barcelona".
The MSC Sixin was launched in 2019 and incorporates the latest technologies currently used in maritime transport. It allows telematic connection of so-called "smart containers", has more than 2,000 connections for reefers and has been designed following strict environmental criteria, leading to a significant reduction in CO2 for each container transported with respect to the average of the container ships currently in service.
The goods that the MSC Sixin unloaded in Barcelona include alcohol-based hand sanitizers, latex gloves and medical equipment designed to combat the COVID-19 crisis.