The Nieuwe Waterweg in Rotterdam is Europe’s main port and the world’s fifth-largest, employing 58,000 people. The Europe Container Terminal (ECT), owned by Hong Kong-based Hutchinson Port Holdings Group, was built here in 1966 to accommodate container vessels. Some 378 million tonnes of containers passed through the port in 2006.
Container services make up 75 per cent of this South Korean-based shipping line’s business. The 25 large-bulk ships in its fleet of 145 vessels weigh from 24,327 to 207,391 deadweight tonnes and can travel at up to 26.5 knots. Hanjin has over 3,500 employees and operates in 80 ports in 35 countries.
Owned by Finnish Cargotec Corporation, Kalmar machines handle 25 per cent of all global container transfers. The Rail Mounted Gantry (RMG) crane in the picture is manufactured by a Kalmar subsidiary in Rotterdam. In 2006, Kalmar had 3,705 employees worldwide and its sales were €1.2bn.
Dutchman Fop Smit started providing passage for vessels in the Port of Rotterdam in 1842 with a fleet of six tugs. Today, 150 SMIT tugboats with 5,400 horsepower assist 14,500 vessels in the port every year, charging €425 to €550 an hour. SMIT has 2,698 staff; its net profits in 2005 were €38.3m.
When Maersk Line acquired the Sea-Land Corporation in 1999, Maersk Sealand became the logo on all its containers. This, however, is now being phased out and all the containers will in future be branded Maersk Line. It is estimated that some 2,000 containers fall off container ships every year.
This brand-new container ship belongs to Malaysian shipping company MISC, a subsidiary of the oil firm Petronas. The Bunga Seroja Dua is big: loading 7,943 TEU (20-foot equivalent units) places her among the world’s largest container vessels. Her maiden voyage to Rotterdam took place in February 2007.
With the purchase of P&O Nedlloyd in February 2006, Maersk Line is now the largest shipping-container company in the world, representing 18 per cent of the market. Maersk now owns 1.4 million containers. Maersk Line operates from 325 offices in more than 125 countries, with headquarters in Copenhagen.
“K” line (Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha) is a global Japanese shipping and logistics company with headquarters in Tokyo, the UK, Singapore and Richmond, Virginia. “K” Line has 2.5 million red containers circulating worldwide. The company also transports natural gas and has never had a shipping accident.
The Mediterranean Shipping Company is a privately owned container-shipping company based in Geneva. It’s the second largest in the world with over 28,000 employees. Its Naples division sponsors Team Shosholoza, the South African team in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup in Valencia.