French container line operator CMA CGM has taken delivery of the biggest container carrier ever built by a Chinese yard.
The 18,000 teu Vasco de Gama, which measures 399 m by 54 m, was handed over to the Marseilles-based group yesterday by China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).
It is the first of three 18,000 teu vessels being built by CSSC for CMA CGM. The two remaining vessels, the Benjamin Franklin and the Zheng He, are scheduled for delivery in September and November.
Two other vessels in the six 18,000 teu “explorer” series have been built in South Korea, where a third is due to be delivered, also before the end of the year.
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The Vasco de Gama, which is 1 m longer than the Korean-built vessels, is now the largest vessel in the CMA CGM fleet. It will sail under British flag on the group’s French Asia Line between Europe and the Far East.
CMA CGM told IHS Maritime Fairplay that CSSC’s execution of the construction contract for the vessel had been “extremely satisfactory”.
“Everything was respected – the delivery date and the specifications,” a spokeswoman said, adding that the yard had been proud of its achievement in completing such a large vessel for the first time.
Vasco de Gama is the largest vessel in CMA CGM’s fleet
– CMA CGM has signed a partnership agreement with Uruguayan logistics operator Godilco as part of its drive to strengthen its presence in the South American logistics sector. It said that its logistics subsidiary, CMA CGM LOG, was opening new offices in Paraguay, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia, as well as Uruguay.
Mathieu Friedberg, group vice president forwarding and logistics, said, “We see South America as a high potential area and we want to position ourselves as a pioneer in this part of the world.”