On Thursday October 29th a United Arab Shipping Co. (UASC) delegation, comprising of Capt. Hesham Khalifa - Senior Ship Manager at UASC Dubai, Capt. Ahmed Hussein - Operations Manager at UASC MED Cluster, Pierfrancesco Giordano - Operations Manager UASAC Italy and Mattia Anselmo - UASAC Italy, visited La Spezia Container Terminal.
The main purpose for the visit was to ensure first-hand knowledge of the port of La Spezia ability to operate the increasingly larger capacity ships now being deployed by UASC as well as being updated on the substantial infrastructure and process improvements that LSCT is now benefitting from in rising to the operating challenges of ULCC ships.
UASC, in recent years, has virtually doubled the ship capacity sizes of the services calling at LSCT and is expected to continue this further with the phase in of additional 13,500 teu ships as well as 15,000 teu ships (nominal capacity). Once the upgrade plan is complete (with 6 units already deployed in 2015, calling at LSCT), in early 2016, LSCT will then be operating its third weekly Asia-Mediterranean string of ships in the 13,500 – 15,000 teu range, realizing an annualized quantity of ships calls of these 150,000 GRT behemoths of some 150 calls per annum.
Various and detailed exchanges on technical details, process improvements, stowage layout and crane intensities targeted at an improved ship turn-round at LSCT were central to a successful visit.
Davide Romanengo (Operations Director) enthuses: ”We have been operating larger units deployed by UASC and partners for some months now. The latest elements of the € 200 million investment plan, with the full deployment of larger cranes on both berths, means that LSCT has a total of 11 gantry cranes available for these larger ships. UASC has indicated to us the intention to add larger ships to the string deployment meaning that the timing of the investment deliverables will enable the terminal to ensure an efficient operation overall as we will now deploy 5 cranes regularly on ships of this size.”
Raffaello Cioni, Commercial Director, Contship Italia Group Service Unit, added: “We extend a warm welcome to our valued customer, here today. It is a privilege to receive this important visit from one of our long term and loyal customers who has grown in importance, as a customer and now we witness the growth in the size of their ships calling at the terminal. We are confident that, as a result of this visit, we may both take comfort and trust in each other to be able to continue with this mutually beneficial partnership for many years in the future, as we are charged with successfully operating one of the newest set of ships in the UASC - the A15 class actually being delivered in 2015 itself.”