Part of the Maersk Line and one of the top ten largest container shipping brands in the world, Hamburg Süd, recently christened a new container ship at a naming ceremony at the Belgian New Fruit Wharf in Antwerp. The new 3,800 TEU vessel has been named “Polar Ecuador”.
Hamburg Süd Chief Commercial Officer, Frank Smet had this to say, Antwerp is a highly important port for Hamburg Süd, and the Belgian New Fruit Wharf is a very suitable place for the christening of a ‘Polar’-class vessel,” Mr. Smet continued, “After all, with more than 1,000 reefer plugs, the ‘Polar Ecuador’ transports a disproportionately large volume of refrigerated cargo for a container vessel of this size from Mexico and the Caribbean to Antwerp. This includes, for example, bananas, pineapples and melons, which are handled particularly efficiently and professionally by the fruit and reefer specialists here.”
The container shipping company has been active in Belgium with their own office in Antwerp since 1996, and they now employ more than 50 full-time staff. The new ship will be deployed on their North Europe – Mexico/Caribbean service (EMCS), which connects Antwerp and other European ports in Ireland, Great Britain and Germany with important Mexican and Caribbean ports. Antwerp has quickly become one of the most important destinations in the region for distribution to surrounding European markets, especially for fruits such as bananas.
Polar Ecuador is another addition to the “Polar” class of vessels that are all structurally identical and built for Hamburg Süd by the Chinese shipyard Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding. Polar Ecuador has a total length of 230 meters with a width of 37.3 meters and can provide storage capacity for 3,800 TEU; the vessel also features 1,000 reefer plugs.