Opened at the end of March, Southampton’s new state-of-the-art SCT 5 container berth has already seen maiden calls from two of the world’s largest container vessels. The first new vessel to use the berth was APL Merlion, which arrived on 7 April.

APL Merlion is the fifth in a series of ten ships ordered by APL from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in Mokpo, South Korea. The 151,000gt vessels are 368.5m by 51m with 20 rows of boxes. With a declared capacity of 13,900TEU, the vessels are the largest in APL’s fleet. Five of the series are being chartered to Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), a partner in the G6 alliance.

The series were the first ultra-large twin-island container ships designed with a fully enclosed bridge, and the first five vessels also have a distinctive though rather ugly deck house that features flush-sided bulkheads with lots of internal empty spaces and cofferdams. The boxy design is intended to keep the crew safe in case of pirate attacks, but undoubtedly increases wind resistance. All ten vessels will be deployed on the G6 Alliance Europe-Far East Loop 7 service.

The second maiden caller was Hyundai Merchant Marine’s Hyundai Dream, which arrived on 11 April. She is the first in a series of ten ordered in 2011 from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Ltd (DSME) in Okpo, South Korea. The 130,000gt Hyundai Dream measures 366.5m by 48.8m and is 19 boxes wide. She has a declared capacity of 13,100TEU. AM


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