Ricochet News

PE and East London welcome modern vessel on maiden voyage

Oct 23, 2018
PE and East London welcome modern vessel on maiden voyage

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) welcomed the MV TITUS, the latest Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean (WW Ocean) Neo-Panamax vessel on her maiden voyage, visiting two Eastern Cape ports this month.

The vessel docked at the Port of Port Elizabeth at approximately 06h00 on Thursday, 18 October and spent the day in port before setting sail for the Port of East London, where she arrived on Sunday, 21 October and departed on the morning of Monday, 22 October. She is sailing the Asia to North America trade route.

Sailing under the flag of Malta, the ship is registered in the Port of Valletta. She has a gross tonnage of 73 358 MT, a deadweight of 23 891.9 MT, a length of 199.9 m and a width of 36.5 metres. WW Ocean already has four of these High Efficiency Ro-Ro (HERO) vessels in operation, which are a specialised type of car carrier introduced in 2015 to maximise on the widening of the Panama Canal international trade route.

These ships boast increased width and capacity than the usual roll-on, roll-off (Ro-Ro) vessels, greater flexibility for a variety of vehicles and other wheeled or trailer-borne cargo, as well as reduced fuel consumption and carbon emissions. 

At the Port of Port Elizabeth, Harbour Master Captain Brynn Adamson handed a commemorative plaque to the captain of the vessel, Captain Ulf Marderyd, during a ceremony on board the vessel on Thursday morning.

“We are proud to be part of this momentous occasion and milestone in WW Ocean’s history. Being able to receive a vessel of this magnitude in our port and efficiently handle its cargo confirms the quality of our infrastructure, equipment and skilled workforce.

"We look forward to welcoming other vessels of the HERO calibre and are committed to providing sound operational performance and turnaround times for our customers facilitating economic growth in our region,” Adamson said.

In Port Elizabeth the vessel handled approximately 1050 moves - 800 imports for Volkswagen, Opel and Bentley and 250 exports all for Volkswagen. She was guided into the port with the aid of two tugs boats by marine pilot Gregory Stone.

In East London MV TITUS discharged 350 imported vehicles and loaded 400 locally manufactured Mercedes Benz C-Class vehicles. Marine pilot Billy Rowe was assisted by two of the port’s tugs, Umthwalume and Impunzi, as well as the TNPA workboat Tristan Tern, in docking the vessel safely.

Rowe then handed over a plaque to the vessel’s master, Captain Ulf Marderyd, during a ceremony on board the vessel to mark the maiden arrival at the port.

MV TITUS is the latest history-making arrival in the Port of East London. Earlier this year the port docked its two largest vessels to date. In April the Chinese-owned ZHEN HUA 8, a 220m long, 42.3m wide multi-purpose, heavy load carrier docked safely.

This was followed in May with the maiden voyage of the port’s first ever HERO Class vessel, MV THERMOPYLAE, also operated by WW Ocean.

East London Port Manager, Sharon Sijako, said: “Accommodating these larger vessels demonstrates to the rest of the country, and indeed the international shipping fraternity, that we have the expertise on hand to rise to the challenge of safely and efficiently catering for vessels of these dimensions.”

Specifically designed to reduce energy consumption and emissions per ton/km cargo transported, MV TITUS is the first Large Car and Truck Carrier (LCTC) ever built at the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation’s (CSIC) Xingang Shipyard and the first Chinese built LCTC in the WW Ocean fleet.

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