MPET sets new record with the handling of container vessel "Maersk Evora"

A new record was set in the Deurganck dock in the Port of Antwerp. These days, 8,429 containers, or 13,405 TEU, has been handled on the ms MAERSK EVORA; an absolute volume record for container handler MPET and the Port of Antwerp in general. 

The ms MAERSK EVORA, 366m long and 48m wide, entered the port of Antwerp on Monday. The ship came alongside at MPET, heavily loaded, with containers stacked 10-high on deck.

Containers and employment

It’s busy these days at the Port of Antwerp. During the entire port stay of the MAERSK EVORA, 6 to 7 gangs have been working day and night to handle the vessel and to load and unload the containers. As the containers were  stacked 10 high on the upper deck, MPET deployed its largest quay cranes. These cranes are 50 meters high, have an outreach of 25 containers wide and are among the largest in the world.

But not alone the dockers and cranes are hard at work whenever such a giant container carrier calls at Antwerp. The number of people working in and around the port to pilot the ship in, load and unload the containers, transport them to their destination, empty and process their contents etc. comes to around 1,900 per call.

Containers are much more than metal boxes for the goods that we like to find in our supermarkets. They form an undeniable source of employment, not only in Antwerp and the Waasland port area but also far beyond the borders of the Province of Antwerp.

The single largest container terminal in Europe

Today’s record is not the first for the MSC PSA European Terminal (MPET) in the Port of Antwerp.  In June 2017 the “Madrid Maersk” moored there for the first time. With a length of 399 metres and a capacity of 20,568 TEU it was at that time the largest container ship ever to call at the port.

With an annual handling capacity of 9 million TEU, a quay length of 3.7 km and an area of 242 ha, MPET is the single largest container terminal in Europe and accounts for more than 50% of the total Antwerp container volume. MPET is equipped with 41 quay cranes and 9 berths to handle the largest ships in the world.

Read more about Antwerp, a world port city:

Antwerp and the deepening of the Scheldt

It was exactly 50 years ago that the first container carrier arrived at Antwerp, when the Atlantic Span took two weeks to load and unload 700 containers in September 1967. Since then the container ships have grown ever larger, with record after record being broken. Thanks to the deepening of the Scheldt, which ensured the necessary draught at certain crucial places in the river from 2010 onwards, Antwerp has managed to keep pace with the increase in the scale of shipping. From January to May in 2017 68 container carriers in the category 14,000 to 18,000 TEU have already called at Antwerp. In the +18,000 TEU category the counter stands at 43 after the first five months of 2017.