Five brand-new container ships made their debuts at Southampton during May as newbuilds continue to visit the port (see SM, July). The first was OOCL Berlin, which arrived on 1 May, followed a week later by OOCL Brussels, and then Hapag-Lloyd’s Shanghai Express arrived for the first time on 12 May.

The fourth was MOL Quest (2013/151,963gt), which is the second of a series of ten APL-owned 13,900TEU container ships. MOL Quest is one of five to be chartered from Singapore-based APL by the Japanese Mitsui OSK Lines. The 369m vessels have been designed to operate at moderate service speeds for low fuel consumption. They are the first jumbo twin-isle ships designed with a fully enclosed bridge, and the vessels’ deck houses are built with flush outside bulkheads to combat pirate attacks.

The last of the May debutants was the 16,000TEU CMA CGM Alexander von Humboldt (175,343gt), which called at the south coast port for the first time on 25 May. She then went to Hamburg where, on 31 May, she was christened. Built by DSME in South Korea, the UK-flagged CMA CGM Alexander von Humboldt measures 396m by 54m, with a draft of 16m, and is the second in the CMA CGM series of 16,000TEU container ships. She is operated on the French Asia Line (FAL 1) route, which takes in Pusan, Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Yantian, Suez, Tanger, Hamburg and Rotterdam.

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