Israel’s Haifa Port welcomed its largest ship to date this weekend following upgrades at one the ports existing terminals.
The 15,300 TEU containership Maersk Hamburg arrived at Haifa’s Carmel Terminal as part of east-west voyage by the 2M alliance (Maersk and MSC). At 354 meters in length, a beam of 54 meter, and a draft of more than 15 meters, the ship becomes the largest containership to ever call in Israel.
Until recently, it seemed that vessels of this size would only be able to call in Israel after the construction of new terminals at Haifa and Ashdod ports. However, upgrades by the Haifa Port Company, including the acquisition of two new STS cranes and dredging, gave the company’s Carmel Terminal at Haifa the capacity needed to handle a vessel such as the Maersk Hamburg.
The ship arrived in Haifa after calling at ports in China and South Korea and then passing through the Suez Canal. From Haifa, it continues to the Adriatic before returning east.
Starting this week, ships of this size will stop at Haifa Port every week. The next ship, Maersk Havana, which was launched last January, is already approaching the Red Sea and will arrive in Haifa later this week.
Haifa Port Company Chairman Eshel Armony, “This is a vote of confidence by the world’s two largest shipping companies in the abilities of Haifa Port and in our strength. This is another step towards ensuring a bright future for Haifa Port, and an important milestone in our strategic plan.”
Haifa Port Company CEO Mendi Zaltzman, “Ships of this size, which will now arrive in Haifa, do not come until they thoroughly examine the physical capabilities of the port to receive them, and the operational efficiency to minimize their stay in port.
“Shipping companies receive excellent service and world-class operational efficiency at Haifa Port, which save them a great deal of money. The arrival of this ship, the first ship to exceed a capacity of 15,000 TEU, was planned for a long time.”