A RECENT announcement confirmed the successful transit of MSC GULSUN, the world’s largest container vessel, on its first trip through the New Suez Canal. The Panamanian ship transited the Canal with the northbound convoy, heading to North Western Europe from the Port of Xingang.

The ship stands at 400 metres in length and a beam of 61.4 metres, which is a little under the 62.1-metre maximum permissible beam in the Suez Canal, a draught of 16 metres, and a gross tonnage of 232,000 tonnes.

MSC GULSUN is of the Megamax 24 class with the ability to stack 24 rows of containers on board as opposed to the previous class Megamax 23 with a capacity ranging from 18,000 to 20,000 TEU, and only 23 rows of containers.

Admiral Mohab Mameesh, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority and Suez Canal Economic Zone, boarded the vessel to welcome the crew and see that the vessel transited safely, as well as being offered all the navigational safety measures. And as per protocol in the Suez Canal Authority on receiving mega vessels transiting for the first time, Admiral Mameesh, presented the ship’s master with a bouquet of flowers and the Suez Canal Authority’s shield, wishing him and the crew a safe trip, and a smooth transit.

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Captain Somma Lauro, master of the ship, expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the Suez Canal Authority to ensure the safe and smooth transit of the vessel, particularly as its transit requires special measures given its enormous dimensions.

He also highlighted the extent to which he valued the role of the SCA pilots during the vessel’s transit through the Canal, and their professionalism and competence.

The mega vessel is one of MSC’s largest vessels. It is the first of its kind at 23,756 TEU, and among 11 sister vessels the shipping line has had under construction at the SAMSUNG and DAEWOO South Korean shipyards since 2017. The vessels are set for operations between the Far East and North-Western Europe via the Suez Canal as part of the AE 10/SILK service in collaboration with Maersk.

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