PE harbour welcomes world’s largest auto carrier


History was made on Wednesday when the world’s largest car and truck carrier docked in the Port Elizabeth harbour on its maiden visit to South Africa.

Tipping the scales at 20 500 tonnes, with a total length of 200 meters, deck area equivalent to 10 football fields and able to carry 8 500 vehicles on 14 decks, five of which can be configured, the Hoegh Target is the first in a series of six cargo ships that will be introduced by the Norwegian owned firm over the next 18 months.

Built in China, the Target officially commenced its journey in East Asia two months ago before stopping at ports in Europe. At the time of its visit, the vessel is expected to make its way to Durban before returning to Asia via stops in Africa, ports in the Indian Ocean and Australia.

The 21-man ship, which features a 6.5-metre high loading ramp capable of handling cargo weighing up to 375 tonnes, is also the first of its kind to exercise a minimal impact on the environment. According to Hoegh, this includes a redesigned hull for an improvement in fuel consumption, and a reduction of emissions by 50% compared to a conventional car carrier.

“For us as Transnet Ports Terminal, it is an honour and privilege to host this vessel on her maiden voyage into South African waters,” Acting Port Elizabeth Terminal Manager David Gwabeni said.

“This confirms the confidence entrusted to us by our customers that we are capable and able to handle this type of vessel safely. As the port of PE, especially given our close relations with the auto industry, we pride ourselves on efficiency with the aim of making this the top destination for customers”.