Gulftainer handles GCC’s largest ever vessel call

Khorfakkan Container Terminal berths largest container ship ever to call in Middle East.
CMA CGM, Khorfakkan, Gulftainer, Container ship

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Gulftainer welcomed the CMA CGM Antoine De Saint Exupery on its maiden call at its flagship Khorfakkan Container Terminal (KCT).

With a capacity of 20,600 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), the 400-metre ship is one of the largest containerships in the world and marks KCT’s largest ever vessel call.

CMA CGM currently operates a diversified fleet of 445 vessels with a combined capacity of over two million TEU.

The company deployed the newbuilding on its French Asia Line 1 service, which connects Asia to Northern Europe.

Prior to its arrival at KCT, the vessel, which is longer than 4 football fields and bigger than the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower had made calls in a number of major ports within Europe.

Peter Richards, group CEO of Gulftainer, said: “We are delighted to welcome the CMA CGM Antoine De Saint Exupery, at our flagship Khorfakkan Container Terminal. Receiving one of the largest containerships in the world signifies our ability to deliver the highest standards of operational efficiency, which is of tremendous value to large vessels such as this. It represents another achievement for Gulftainer and is a testament to our strengthening relationship with the CMA CGM group, as well as their confidence in us.”

The Journal of Commerce has recognised KCT, Gulftainer’s flagship terminal, as the fastest terminal in the MENA region and third-fastest in the world.

Its strategic location on the main Asia Europe trade lane, combined with the ability to connect the Gulf, Indian Subcontinent and East Coast of Africa, makes KCT an ideal hub for main line carriers.

In the UAE, the company also operates the Sharjah Container Terminal (SCT) and the container operations at Hamriya Port on behalf of the Sharjah Port Authority.

With recent upgrades, including the deployment of the Marine and Container Handling (MACH) terminal operating system (TOS), and infrastructure improvements such as new specialized crane equipment, KCT is well-positioned to meet the needs of customers serving newer, larger ships, and to handle higher volumes per call.

The terminal is also highly efficient and has a very successful track record at handling alliance volumes, with multiple operators on the same vessel.

Richards added: “Given the fast-paced changes in the industry, we are constantly reviewing our services and capabilities across our portfolio. While KCT has traditionally been used as a transhipment hub, we are increasingly receiving gateway cargo as well, which we see as a massive opportunity going forward.”