In October, the Polish deepwater container terminal DCT Gdansk celebrated its first birthday with a large reception party, attended by close to 300 people. Amongst invited guests were to be found representatives of freight forwarders, shipping lines and rail operators working with the terminal, as well as local authorities with the Mayor of Gdansk and the Chairman of the Port of Gdansk Authority. The ambassadors of Australia and Denmark also graced the party with their presence.
These anniversary party celebrations took place on the terminal apron in a transparent marquee, enabling the invited guests to view the terminal in operation while the stage inside had been created using a 45ft open-sided container provided by Containerships, currently the terminal’s largest customer.
The marquee was flanked on one side by a wall of containers depicting the principal customers of DCT Gdansk while on the other side, guests had a grandstand view of the 1223 TEU containership Maersk Rome arriving, loading and then sailing before the party ended. In total, 269 containers, equivalent to 528TEU, were handled using three cranes, each averaging 35 container moves per hour.
The nearby wall of containers was much admired. It consisted of containers of Hapag-Lloyd, NYK, CMA CGM, COSCO, ZIM, Safmarine, Hyundai, Hamburg Sud, MOL, China Shipping, Maersk Line and Maruba Shipping – all shipping lines that have confirmed they are open for business with DCT.
Maersk Line is the latest customer to be signed up by DCT Gdansk but the arrival of the red-hulled Maersk Rome was a surprise to many. The Danish line’s contract does not take effect until 1 December 2008 when Maersk will switch its Polish operations from Gdynia to DCT Gdansk. Maersk executives simply explained that they had wanted to do something special to celebrate DCT Gdansk’s birthday and only apologized that they had not been able to arrange ‘a blue one’.
DCT Gdansk SA is a Polish registered company majority owned by GIF II (Global Infrastructure Fund II), a specialist fund managed by a member of the Macquarie Group of Companies, headquartered in Australia. Its new terminal offers year-round ice-free access to container vessels with depths of up to 15m, providing perfect conditions to serve as a transshipment hub to St Petersburg and the rest of the Baltic. Its three post-Panamax gantry cranes are able to work vessels carrying containers 18-across on deck. A ro/ro facility has also been provided.
The rail terminal, operated by DCT Gdansk, is located adjacent to the marine facility and a major logistics/distribution park is now in the planning stage, making DCT the ideal gateway to Poland and Eastern & Central Europe.
In a period of less than a year of activity, the terminal has acquired the cooperation of the largest shipping line in the world, and many customers as well. Presently monthly turnover exceeds 10,000 TEU, and will be multiplied in the coming months with the arrival of Maersk’s vessels.