The port of Mombasa got a major economic boost after one of the world’s largest container ships, MSC Maxine, docked yesterday, signalling that facility’s expansion was paying off.
The Mediterranean Shipping Company vessel has a container capacity of 9,411 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs), stretches 300 metres and stands at 62 metres.
With a deadweight of 110,629 tonnes and a gross tonnage of 94,469, the Panama-flagged vessel is the biggest ship to land at the port.
It is expected to discharge 1,483 units full and 577 units of transhipment containers for Dar es Salaam. The ship will also load 430 units full and 2,200 units of empties.
The vessel also brought with it a new performance record of 1,450 moves within an eight-hour shift in the container operations.
MSC Maxine, in her maiden call, beat the previous record of container carrier Livorno of 1,265 moves registered late June this year.
Maxine recorded an average of 181 gross moves per hour to break the Liberia-registered Livorno’s record of 140 gross moves per hour.
Gross moves per hour is a maritime productivity term that defines the total container movement on loading, offloading and repositioning divided by the number of hours for which the vessel is at berth.
This is the third container operations record set within this year. The new record is an improvement of 20 per cent from that of Livorno.
Earlier in August, MV Ever Diamond cargo ship made its maiden call at the berth No 17 from Colombo Port in Sri Lanka.
The Evergreen Shipping Line ship has a length overall of 294.13m and a capacity of 2,500 containers.
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Acting MD, Daniel Manduku attributed the improved performance to a well-coordinated operation and diligence from the workforce.
“The record performance is demonstrable proof that with right equipment, appropriate planning and a motivated workforce, the fluidity of cargo operations can continue achieving the requisite efficiencies that all port stakeholders are seeking,” he said.
MSC Maxine’s captain Shashi Bhushan expressed delight on the historic performance adding, “The KPA pilot was very super and confident. He gave me vital information before we started the manual, we followed what we planned and safely came to the berth.”