On July 30th, 2020, another milestone has been achieved at Laem Chabang Port with the arrival of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)’s container vessel; MSC Mina. She made her maiden call at Hutchison Ports Thailand’s Terminal D as the largest container vessel to ever berth in the Land of Smiles, with a length of 399.7 meters and 61.0 meters of width.
To learn more, we spoke with Mr. Peter Blohm, Managing Director of Mediterranean Shipping (Thailand) Co. Ltd. and Mr. Stephen Ashworth, Managing Director of Thailand & South East Asia for Hutchison Ports about yet another significant moment in Thailand’s logistics industry.
A Historic Moment
“Laem Chabang is an important port for MSC in South-east Asia, and we are delighted to welcome the first-ever call by MSC Mina, one of our biggest, most energy-efficient, and technologically advanced ships to Thailand,” said Mr. Blohm.
“We are proud to have MSC Mina calling at our Terminal D. It is a historic milestone as it is the first time a mega-vessel has called in Thailand. This clearly demonstrates our terminal’s efficiency as well as its capabilities in servicing such mega vessels, and we look forward to welcoming further vessels of similar size in the near future,” added Mr. Ashworth.
Titans of the Ocean Surface
“MSC Mina is an Ultra Large Container Ship (ULCS) and is part of MSC’s Gülsün class of ships. . These 11 ships are among the largest container vessels in the world, and have been designed with a wide range of environmental, efficiency, stability and safety matters in mind,” revealed Mr. Blohm.
The largest container vessel to ever call at Thailand arrived at Laem Chabang Port with the capacity of 23,656 TEUs, which is equivalent to 384 million pairs of shoes or 47,312 cars, and 228,741 of gross tonnage. MSC Mina is also capable of carrying over 2,000 refrigerated containers, which helps to boost the trade of essential goods such as food & beverage, pharmaceutical products, perishables and other chilled or frozen items.
For this maiden port call, MSC Mina was operating under MSC’s Lion-Jaguar service, which expanded its coverage to Thailand in April 2020. The Lion-Jaguar service calls at Europe, Asia, and the West Coast of the US, and offers direct shipping services from Thailand to the US via the Trans-Pacific route without transit.
The port rotation of the Lion-Jaguar service includes Busan, Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Sines, Antwerp, Le Havre, Felixstowe, Algeciras, Singapore, Laem Chabang, Nansha, Yantian, Shanghai, Long Beach, and Oakland. MSC Mina left Hutchison Ports Thailand’s Terminal D on July 31st, 2020, and sailed towards Nansha as her next destination.
Propitious Sign for Thailand’s Logistics Industry
MSC Mina is the second mega-vessel to have berthed at Laem Chabang Port since June 2020, after the Very Large Container Ship (VLCS), MSC Istanbul, with a capacity of 16,652 TEU, made her call at the Port in the month prior.
The increased frequency of large container vessels calling at Laem Chabang Ports reflects the Port’s capability in supporting mega-vessels, as well as the potential of the Thai logistics industry, and its willingness to push the Thai economy forward during this time of flux.
“Hutchison Ports Thailand is honored to be part of Thailand’s growing logistics industry. MSC Mina is one of the biggest container vessels in the world and by welcoming her to our Terminal D, we have demonstrated our ability to handle some of the largest container vessels currently in operation,” said Mr. Ashworth.
“Our Lion-Jaguar service deploys the biggest ships to call at Laem Chabang Port, which demonstrates MSC’s commitment to the Thai logistics industry and the economy,” Mr. Blohm reiterated.