A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk)’s containership, the Mumbai Maersk, has established a new record for the deepest draft vessel to call at the Port of Felixstowe.
The ship with a capacity of 20,568 TEU arrived from Bremerhaven on 11 November with a draught of 16.8 metres and 24 hours later, when the vessel departed, the draught had a draught of 17 metres.
The depth of the approach channel was increased from 14.5 to 16 metres, while the depth of Berths 8 and 9 was increased from 16 to 18 metres below chart datum.
Robert Ashton, Chief Operating Officer at the Port of Felixstowe, said: “There has been a steady increase in recent years in the number of the latest generation of mega-vessels serving the main shipping route into Europe. The Port of Felixstowe is the best located UK port for these huge ships and, working with our partners at Harwich Haven Authority, we deepened the main approach channel and Berths 8&9 to cement further that advantage.
“The deeper channel provides a level of access matched nowhere else in the country. It not only allows deeper vessels to call but also more ultra-large ships to be handled on each tide. With a short channel, close to the pilot station and ports of North Europe it is better for service, cutting emissions and reducing costs.”
Berths 6&7 at the port were refurbished in 2022 to give four berths capable of accommodating the newest 24,000 TEU vessels.
Sarah West, Chief Executive of Harwich Haven Authority, stated: “The deepening of the approach channel was both a significant technical challenge and a major financial investment for the Authority. We were delighted with the outcome and are hugely encouraged to see that it is already paying dividends.
“Harwich Haven and the Port of Felixstowe are the main gateway for UK containerised trade and by working together we will ensure we continue to offer the right facilities and highest levels of service to our mutual customers.”