Biggest Chinese ship docks in Antwerp
The megaship Cosco Belgium which docked in the Antwerp Deurganck dock yesterday, is the biggest ship owned by the Chinese state shipping company, Cosco. At 365.9 metres long and 48.2 meters wide, this ultra large container ship has a capacity for 13 386 containers. The ship’s maiden voyage to Flanders was celebrated in the presence of Flemish minister-president Kris Peeters CD&V and Chinese ambassador Liao Liqiang. “The ship will regularly dock to deliver consumer goods,” says Liqiang. “Belgium is a key trading partner and the ship’s name underlines our commercial interests.” The ambassador did not ignore the impact of the financial crisis, but confirmed that trade grew during the first two months of 2013. Peeters was equally excited about the ship’s arrival, saying: “This is a sign for other players. Antwerp harbour is surging ahead, which makes for excellent collaboration between China and Flanders.” With its traffic of almost 8 million tonnes destined for the harbour, the country is Antwerp harbour’s fourth most important trading partner. Last year 167 ultra large container ships docked in the Antwerp harbour. The 48 that have docked in the first quarter of this year shows an increase of 15% compared to the same time last year.