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Northport receives the largest ever container vessel to berth at its terminal

Friday, 24 May 2024 | 00:00

Northport (Malaysia) Bhd (“Northport”), a member of MMC Group, celebrated a historic milestone as it welcomed MV OOCL Japan on 20 May 2024, the largest ever container vessel to berth at its facilities. Owned by Orient Overseas Container Line (“OOCL”) Limited, MV OOCL Japan boasts a capacity of 21,413 TEUs, setting a new record for Northport by surpassing the previous largest ship to call at its port, Eugen Maersk, which had a capacity of 11,000 TEUs in 2013.

This monumental event is a testament to Northport’s capability to accommodate Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCVs), reflecting its commitment to growth and excellence in maritime logistics.

“We are extremely proud to host MV OOCL Japan at Northport. This historic achievement is the result of our ongoing efforts to enhance our facilities and services as part of our ‘Reinventing Northport’ initiative, ensuring that this 61-year-old port remains relevant and competitive. The ability to berth such a large vessel demonstrates Northport’s capability and readiness to handle the ever-growing demands of the international maritime trade,” said Dato’ Azman Shah Mohd Yusof, Chief Executive Officer of Northport.

With a capacity of 21,413 TEUs, MV OOCL Japan became the largest container vessel ever to berth at Northport.

MV OOCL Japan’s arrival is particularly significant as it represents a considerable advancement from the first container vessel to berth at Northport in Port Klang, the MV Tokyo Bay. With a capacity of 3,000 TEUs, MV Tokyo Bay was the world’s first third-generation full container vessel to call Port Klang on 5 August 1973, marking the advent of containerization in Malaysia. Since then, Northport has been handling increasingly larger vessels over the last five decades, leading up to the arrival of MV OOCL Japan.

Built in 2017 and currently sailing under the flag of Hong Kong, MV OOCL Japan features state-of-the-art technology and advanced engineering. With a length of 400 meters and a width of 59 meters, it is one of the largest container vessels in the world. The vessel boasts enhanced fuel efficiency and an eco-friendly design, significantly reducing carbon emissions. It is also equipped with advanced navigation and safety systems to ensure smooth and secure voyages. The vessel is currently operating under OOCL’s LL3 Service, plying the route of Zeebrugge, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Port Klang, Hong Kong, Nansha, Xiamen, Qingdao.

With a capacity of 21,413 TEUs, MV OOCL Japan became the largest container vessel ever to berth at Northport.

MV OOCL Japan’s successful berthing showcased Northport’s advanced infrastructure, including its state-of-the-art sea-side and land-side terminal facilities, designed to support the largest and most complex container vessels afloat today.

As part of the ‘Reinventing Northport’ initiative, the Company acquired six new ZPMC quay cranes for its container operations in early 2019. This acquisition allows Northport to handle larger vessels more efficiently, improving overall terminal productivity from 25 mph (moves per hour) to 28 mph. In 2023, Northport completed the development of a new container yard, Block J, adding 529,980 TEUs to its total yard capacity. Another new container yard, Block K, is currently under construction. Once completed in September 2024, Block K will provide an additional capacity of 459,900 TEUs. Northport also purchased 11 Electrified Rubber-Tyred Gantry units (E-RTGs) and 23 diesel-powered RTGs in 2023 for its container yard operations. An additional 12 units of E-RTGs are expected to be delivered in 2025.

Dato’ Azman Shah Mohd Yusof, CEO of Northport (fourth from left) together with Northport officers standing in front of MV OOCL Japan, the largest container vessel ever to berth at Northport.

These port improvement projects and upgrades have significantly enhanced Northport’s operational efficiency. As a result, more than 80 percent of vessels calling at Northport are now able to berth upon arrival. This has led to consistently high productivity levels of more than 28 mph and more efficient container handling. In the first four (4) months of 2024, Northport has handled a total of 1,055,555 TEUs of containers, marking a growth of seven (7) percent compared to the same period last year.

“The Red Sea geopolitical issues has caused disruption to world trade as shipping lines face delays due to rerouting of services. This has led to congestion in other major ports in the region. We have received more than 50 ad-hoc calls this year due to our improved productivity and berth on arrival value proposition,” said Dato’ Azman.
Source: Northport (Malaysia) Bhd

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