The Ministry of Transport and Works and the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) officially welcomed the ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Limited’s mega-vessel, ZIM Antwerp, on its third trip to Jamaica, on Thursday August 5.
The vessel, one of the largest container ships globally, is docked at the Kingston Container Terminal’s (KCT) Western Berth at Port Bustamante, which was built to accommodate megaliners. It made its maiden voyage to Kingston in February and returned in April.
The ZIM Antwerp is part of the Israeli shipping line’s fleet which has been using the Port of Kingston since the container facilities were opened in 1975. ZIM is one of the oldest clients of the KCT and has established a particularly strong presence on routes between the Far East and the Caribbean, Mediterranean and China.
Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Michael Henry (right) and President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Port Authority of Jamaica, Noel Hylton (centre) listen to Master Captain of the ZIM Antwerp, Eeulkar Shalom (left), as he explains features of the container ship during a tour of the vessel on Thursday August 5 at the Kingston Container Terminal, Port Bustamante. The mega-vessel was making its third visit to Jamaica.
Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Michael Henry, toured the 349-metre long vessel, along with President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the (PAJ), Noel Hylton. The Minister said the ship’s visit to Jamaica was a clear example of Jamaica’s ability to compete at a first world level. He said that very few ports in the region could accommodate a ship the size of the ZIM Antwerp.
“Now just so you understand when I talk of first world thinking, this ship cannot (dock) in New York: In fact, I don’t think there’re any ports on the East Coast of the United States that can accommodate a ship this size,” Mr. Henry stated.
He also congratulated the workers and the operators of the PAJ for an outstanding job in welcoming the mega-vessel and its crew, in addition to turning around the cargo in record time, “so that the shipping companies can meet their deadlines and that they get out of the port fast enough”.
It is expected that by 2014, when the expansion of the Panama Canal is completed, a number of ships the size of the ZIM Antwerp will be able to visit Jamaica, the Minister said.
Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Michael Henry (right), makes a point to Master Captain of the ZIM Antwerp, Eeulkar Shalom (left), during a tour of the mega-vessel on Thursday August 5 at the Kingston Container Terminal, Port Bustamante. Looking on are President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Port Authority of Jamaica, Noel Hylton (centre) and Chief Engineer of the ZIM Antwerp, Henri Bazak.
“I understand that the (PAJ) has ordered nine more ships of this size, but I think they are 33 1/3 per cent larger than this ship, I think that’s about 14,000 to 16,000 tonnes, so it is expected that this is what the Ministry is aiming at for 2014 as a target, on the completion of the expansion of the Panama Canal,” he said.
Mr. Henry commended the PAJ, revealing that the organisation recorded a profit last year, despite the downturn in the global markets.
“That was not done by increased traffic through the ports but by management, readjustment and development,” he said, while predicting a substantial growth in the area.
One of a new line of container ships playing an increasing role in global cargo shipping, the ZIM Antwerp measures some 63.5 metres in height, with a gross tonnage of 114,044. The vessel is capable of carrying some 10,062 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). It was built by the Hyundai Corporation of South Korea, which completed construction in December 2009.