The world’s largest container vessel by carrying capacity, the MSC Gulsun, on Monday set sail from north China’s port city of Tianjin, heading for northwestern Europe. It has a maximum load capacity of 224,986.4 tonnes and is capable of transporting 23,756 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).
The Managing Director, Greater China for the MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Jonathan Zhu said that the ship which is 399.9 meters long and 61.5 meters wide, is scheduled to arrive in northwestern Europe after visiting various ports including Qingdao, Shanghai, Algeciras, Gdansk, Kaliningrad and Rotterdam.
Yu Lei, General Manager of China Ocean Shipping Agency Tianjin Co. Ltd, said that the cargo during the maiden voyage would include steel, furniture, and chemicals.
The ship chose to start its maiden voyage at Tianjin Port, as it is an important gateway port of northern China that boasts broad waterways and good berthing condition.
Boasting of trade links with more than 180 countries and regions, the port now plays an important role in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
Its container throughput reached 8.33 million tonnes in the first half of this year, a year-on-year growth of 6.7 percent, higher than the average growth of Chinese ports.
The ship was built by Samsung Heavy Industries, the shipbuilding affiliate of Samsung Group of the Republic of Korea.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a global development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries and international organizations in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas.