APM Terminals Rotterdam Maasvlakte I will enhance five of the terminal’s existing post-Panamax cranes to a 23-container row reach to accommodate the latest generation of ultra-large container ships. The retrofitting involves engineering and software adjustments expected to be completed in time for the arrival of the 18,000 TEU capacity Marie Maersk, the fourth Maersk Line EEE-Class vessel, currently the world’s largest ships of any type, which is scheduled to arrive in Rotterdam on December 6th as part of the weekly Asia/North Europe AE10 service.
“We are continuously anticipating and adapting to our customers’ needs to provide industry-leading efficiency and productivity” said APM Terminals European Portfolio Manager Ben Vree.
The world’s first 18,000 TEU vessel, the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, paid its maiden call to APM Terminals Rotterdam on August 16th. The EEE class vessels, at 59 meters (194 feet) wide, are 9 meters (29.5 feet) wider than the 15,000 TEU Maersk E-Class vessels, which have a capacity of 15,500 TEUs. Triple E-class vessels have containers stacked 23 rows wide across the deck, while current post-Panamax cranes were constructed with a 22-container row wide reach. APM Terminals Rotterdam set a new terminal productivity record on the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller with berth productivity of 215 gross moves per hour and crane productivity of 37.1 gross moves per hour.
The booms of five of the 13 STS cranes now in operation at APM Terminals Rotterdam Maasvlakte I are being extended for use on the 18,000+ TEU capacity vessels and will also use new operating procedures. Maersk Line has received the first four EEE-Class vessels out of a total of 20 scheduled for delivery over the next two years. The new generation of container vessels with a capacity of more than 18,000 TEU is setting a new standard for the industry.
The adjacent facility, APM Terminals Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte II site, being built on land reclaimed from the North Sea, opens November 2014 with an initial annual throughput capacity of 2.7 million TEUs. The terminal, which will be the most technologically advanced container facility in the world, will be equipped with eight remote-controlled super-Post Panamax cranes, each with a 25-container wide reach.