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Friday, 03 February 2017

Haifa Port – the first in Israel to enter the era of 14,000 TEU ships, with today's call of the Maersk Elba

Haifa Port – the first in Israel to enter the era of 14,000 TEU ships, with today's call of the Maersk Elba Both Images Credit: Warhaftig Venizian

haifaport logoThis morning (Thursday), the Maersk Elba container ship (13,092 TEU) arrived at Haifa Port's state-of-the-art Carmel Terminal. The Maersk Elba is the largest ship ever to dock in Israel, and its visit formally inducted Israel's leading port into the exclusive club of ports that handle high-capacity 14,000 TEU Mega ships. This ship, part of the weekly service line operated by the 2M Alliance of Maersk and MSC, links the ports of South Korea, China and Singapore to Haifa Port, and from there continues to the Adriatic ports. It entered the Carmel Terminal, where it was operated on by 4 STS cranes with an average productivity of 136 containers per ship hour.

All who familiar with the shipping industry understand that preparing Haifa Port to welcome this new generation of ships was a lengthy process that has only now come to fruition. Today, Haifa Port stands as the only Israeli port that has the necessary cranes, depth of water, tugs, and – as many would attest – the professionalism and experience, to provide these massive ships with the excellent service they expect.

haifa2In order to prepare for the arrival of the Maersk Elba and similar subsequent vessels, five new cranes were built at the Carmel Terminal, including two STS cranes from KOCKS CRANES with arms suitable for transporting 20 + 1 lines of containers across the ship. These were constructed on the dock and are now fully operational, joining six other STS cranes. Furthermore, three new KoneCranes RMG's cranes have been added at the storage area of the terminal, where they complement an existing 15-crane array.

Israeli Transport Minister Israel Katz officially unveiled the new cranes a few weeks ago, just in time for wide beam ships to begin calling at the port. Last month, the Israel Ports Company also deepened the water by the Carmel Terminal so that such ships can reach their maximum draft, or very close to it. In the last two years, Haifa Port has also acquired two new tugs, both of which can achieve bollard pull of 70 tons. The second of these, the Elad, arrived a few months ago.

These measures, in addition to adopting the advanced Navis TOS system, completed Haifa Port's preparations. It is now the only Israeli port suitable for 14,000 TEU ships and is likely to remain so in the near future. It should be noted that the next generation of ships, in the order of 18,000 TEU and above, will not be able to call in Israel during the next few years. Therefore, Haifa's 14,000 TEU can be termed "Isra-max", in the parlance of "Panamax" ships.

Mendi Zaltzman, Haifa Port CEO, commented: "We are entering a new era, as Haifa Port is promoted to the premier league of terminals worldwide. This advancement comes with its own obligations. It is important to remember that these massive ships are being serviced at a dock that was originally built to accommodate ships of up to only 6,000 TEU, yet now we are fully prepared to receive ships of 14,000 TEU. The ships in question, such as the Maersk Elba and those that will follow, are very selective about the few ports they call at, and they will not settle for anything less than excellent, rapid service. We are prepared to provide precisely this outstanding level of service to these ships and all others that opt to enjoy Haifa Port's services."

Click here to watch a video of the ship entry.

Press release February 2 2017


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