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Containerschiff MOL TRIUMPH © MOL TRIUMPH Container Hamburg Hafen

First 20,000 TEU container ship expected in Hamburg

Mol Triumph: biggest container ship ever expected in Hamburg - shipping companies to forge new alliances

The MOL Triumph, owned by the Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K Lines, will call at the Port of Hamburg overnight from May 15-16, a press release said Wednesday. The 400-metre-long, giant ship can transport 20,170 standard containers (TEU) and is destined for the HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai. Thomas Lütje, Director of Sales at HHLA, said: “Our terminals are well equipped for such large ships,” adding, that the arrival of one of the world’s biggest container ships is emphatic evidence of Hamburg’s significance as one of the most important stops on the busiest container routes between Europe and the Far East.

New shipping company alliances

The arrival of the MOL Triumph marks the start of new shipping company alliances in Hamburg. The companies have forged new partnerships and have optimised their timetables and port calls as well.


Timetables effective since April will see HHLA terminals in Hamburg handle a total of ten Far East services for the new THE Alliance and OCEAN Alliance networks. The third major alliance, 2M, is also coming to Hamburg and will be handled mainly at the Eurogate Terminal. (See “Alliances” below.)

Rising number of giant carriers

The challenging market situation, marked by overcapacities and low freight rates, has prompted more intense partnerships among shipping companies. In late 2016, 47 giant freighters were travelling the oceans and their number is set to have more than doubled by the close of 2019. ULCVs are only profitable, if their capacity utilisation is very high. Shipping companies hope to be able to fill them to capacity as a result of membership of the alliances. A joint network makes it easier to cover more ports and reduce transit times between paired ports.

Sources and further information:


The OCEAN Alliance includes CMA CGM, OOCL, Cosco Shipping Lines and Evergreen shipping companies. The members of THE Alliance are the Hamburg-based shipping company Hapag-Lloyd, which is merging with UASC, Yang Ming and the three Japanese shipping companies NYK, K Line and MOL. The third major alliance, 2M, consists of the two biggest shipping companies, Maersk and MSC, which have agreed on extensive partnership with Hyundai for the next three years.

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