The world’s second largest container line, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), has recently taken delivery of its largest vessel. In its usual low-key approach to additions to its vast fleet, the company has just taken delivery of MSC London, the first in a series of six 15,908teu ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs), which are on long-term charter.

Following the line’s usual nomenclature for chartered vessels, the series are named after cities of the world; the line uses girls’ names for its owned vessels. MSC London will be followed by MSC New York, due to be delivered in December 2014; MSC Istanbul, due March 2015; and MSC Venice, due in June 2015. The names of the last two vessels, due for delivery in 2015, are still to be announced.

MSC London has an overall length of 399m and a beam of 54m, equating to 21 rows of boxes wide. She is registered in Panama and is of 165,000gt. The vessels are of the latest twin island design, which separates the bridge and crew accommodation from the engine and funnel housing. This design allows for greater vessel capacity without having to increase the vessels overall dimensions.

All six vessels are being built by South Korea’s STX Offshore & Shipbuilding at their Goseong shipyard. The ships were originally ordered in 2010 by Zodiac Maritime as 13,000teu vessels but their capacity was increased to 15,908teu. AM

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