Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Port heralds the arrival of the biggest vessels

The size of the vessels calling on the Fairview container port are growing, as is the ports reputation for handling their cargo.

The largest ship to call on the port this year will arrive on Friday as the Cosco Napoli arrives at 8 am to unload its load of containers, with a capacity for 8,200 TEUs, the arrival of the Napoli showcases a significantly larger cargo load than in the past, which has seen vessels carrying 5,400 TEU's making the regular call.

The Tuesday Daily News featured a front page story which examined the pending arrival of the vessel and how Maher Terminals plans on unloading it and showcase their "express gateway" concept for the transportation sector.

No other port on this coastline can handled a bigger ship than the 8,200 - TEU Napoli
By George Baker
The Daily News
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Page one

In the highly competitive North American port industry, anything that sells your port to the shipping world can be big.

And if that selling point happens to be bigger ships floating into the harbour, the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) is more than willing to welcome in more massive vessels.

On Friday, the port is expecting a container ship, the Napoli, to dock at the Fairview Container Terminal at 8 a.m. The ship holds 8,200 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) making it a new high in capacity for the young terminal (see photo on page 2).

The terminal is usually serviced by 5,400-TEU ships, making the Napoli significantly larger than the typical vessel that has called at the port to date.

The increase is not only in capacity but also in physical size - the ship is much bigger then the normal 280-cubic-metre boats that make their way into Prince Rupert.

According to Barry Bartlett, a Prince Rupert Port Authority spokesperson, the Napoli measures 355 cubic metres, which is 200 feet larger than the typical container ship that has been docking in the city of rainbows.

The Napoli is expected to dock for 24 hours during which time a full team will work round-the-clock to relieve the ship of its cargo. This is typical of the "express gateway" operations the port is characterized by, added Bartlett, and the speed by which ships are being unloaded has management at the Prince Rupert Port Authority very excited about the port's future and hopeful that more ships like this will choose Prince Rupert as a docking destination.

"Service through Prince Rupert is greatly exceeding expectations," said Bartlett of industry reaction to the port's capacity to handle such large container ships. He said that there is no other West Coast port that can handle a ship this large.

Since the beginning of the Fairview Terminal's operations last year, the port has had a 35 per cent increase in tonnage travelling through the port. The additional throughput points to more good news for a port that has increased business by 11 per cent from January to June in comparison to last year.

Before the Napoli, the previous largest vessel to ever stop in Prince Rupert was the Long Beach, owned by COSCO. That ship held 7,455 TEUs and docked July 19.

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