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Fremantle Port welcomes first of two giant container ships

Two of the largest-capacity container ships to ever visit Australia are making calls to the Fremantle Inner Harbour this month.
  • 2019
  • Port Operations
  • Shipping
  • Published 16 Jul 2019
Maersk Skarstind berthed in Fremantle Inner Harbour

Two of the largest-capacity container ships to ever visit Australia are making calls to the Fremantle Inner Harbour this month and the first, Maersk Skarstind, arrived in Fremantle last night (15 July).

MSC Elma will arrive on 20 July.

Maersk Skarstind berthed around 9.30pm last night assisted by a pilot and three Svitzer tugs.

Capable of carrying more than 9400 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU)* each—around double the number on most container ships visiting Australia—Maersk Skarstind and MSC Elma are about 300 metres long and 48 metres wide.

To compare, Optus Stadium’s AFL field is 165 m long.

While Archimidis, which called at Fremantle late last year for the first time, is 17 metres longer than the ships, Maersk Skarstind and MSC Elma are wider, can carry more containers and have a larger gross tonnage.

In addition, Maersk Skarstind is the third ‘twin island’ container vessel to arrive in Australia (Vargas Trader/Balbina and Choapa Trader visited in 2016).
Maersk Skarstind Melbourne July19 1000

Photo: Maersk

The special design (see photo above), which separates the wheelhouse and accommodation block from the engine room and funnel area, increases navigation visibility and cargo-loading capacity for ships that can carry more than 9000 TEU.

Fremantle Ports CEO Chris Leatt-Hayter said Fremantle was pleased to welcome container vessels of the size of Maersk Skarstind and MSC Elma.

“The Fremantle Inner Harbour can handle ships of this size and draft—the biggest container ships calling at Australian ports—and we expect to welcome even bigger ships in the future.”

In the past week, both ships have been calling at major Australian container ports before they will make their last Australian calls for these visits at Fremantle.

Fremantle is Western Australia’s only dedicated container port and Australia’s fourth largest container port (by TEU volume).

Fremantle handled 788,266 TEU during the financial year 2018-19.

Almost $3.2 million of trade passes through the port every hour 24/7.

You can see ships arriving and departing through our harbourcams and 
keep up to date with Instagram.

Maersk Skarstind:

Operated by A.P Moller Maersk on the ‘Boomerang’ service
Container capacity: 9472 TEU
Length: 300m
Breadth: 48.20m
Gross registered tonnage: 93,702
Year built: 2016
Arrived: Monday 15 July; berthed at Container Terminal 4 (Patrick)
Expected departure: Tuesday 16 July 20:00
Last port: Adelaide; next port: Singapore

MSC Elma:

Operated by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) on the Australian Express Service from Europe
Container capacity: 9411 TEU
Length: 299.95m
Breadth: 48.20m
Gross registered tonnage: 96,816
Year built: 2016
Expected arrival: Saturday 20 July (pilot on board 03:45); berthing Container Terminal 3 (Patrick)
Last port: Adelaide; next port: Singapore

For the latest arrival and departure times, see Shipping Movements

*TEU: twenty-foot equivalent unit; standard container measure

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