Recent calls by large and ultra-large container ships to Brazil’s main port of Santos have highlighted the growing size of the tonnage deployed in trade to and from the east coast of South America, ECSA traffic, says Alphaliner.
Hapag-Lloyd’s RIO DE JANEIRO EXPRESS set a new size record for container ships on the East Coast this week, when the vessel called at Santos on October 25.
In mid-September, the brand new 13,278 TEU compact neo-panamax ship gradually joined the ‘AS2’, ‘SX1, ‘Ipanema’ service jointly operated by Hapag-Lloyd, ONE and MSC. This loop connects the Far East with Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.
Operated by Hapag-Lloyd, the RIO DE JANEIRO EXPRESS arrived in Santos non-stop from Singapore and docked at the Brazilian Port Terminal (BTP). The facility is one of the ‘big three’ container terminals at the port, joining Tecon Santos, DP World Santos and several smaller berths.
Another record was achieved at Tecon Santos when the 11,040 teu CMA CGM VELA called at the terminal. The vessel serves the Panama Canal route Asia – Central America – NCSA loop ‘PEX 2’ for CMA CGM, COSCO and Hapag-Lloyd.
This service does not generally call at Santos, but CMA CGM VELA’s voyage was extended to reach much further south beyond the Caribbean Basin. This also means that the ship will likely return to Asia via the Cape of Good Hope, rather than the usual Suez Canal route.
At 347.00m in length, the vessel became the longest container ship ever to call on the east coast of South America, demonstrating the general increase in the size of ships serving this region.