Lithuania’s Klaipeda Seaport is planning to turn into a transshipment hub for the Baltic Sea region following the recent rise in the gross tonnage of vessels calling at the port.
Klaipeda joined the ranks of seaports able to accommodate 9,000 TEU+ container ships after the 9,178 TEU MSC Asya berthed at the quays of the newly constructed JSSC Klaipedos Smelte container distribution centre on August 11.
With the length of 336.7 meters, breadth of 45.6m, and a maximum draft of 15.3m, MSC Asya became the largest ship ever to enter this seaport.
”Up to now the function of rendering services and distributing the containers to smaller vessels, the so called ”transshipment” has been traditionally the prerogative of the large seaports of the Western Europe – Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg and others. From now on Klaipeda Seaport is ready to accommodate both feeder and ocean going vessels – container ships. Accommodation of the container ship MSC Asya today has served the best evidence of that. We believe that the number of ocean-going vessels will increase in our seaport,” said Arvydas Vaitkus, the director general of Klaipeda State Seaport Authority.
According to the report of Internal Audit Department of Klaipeda State Seaport Authority, the gross tonnage (GT) of vessels within the 1st half of 2015 has increased by 5 percent compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. The review of the tendencies of recent years revealed that the number of vessels exceeding 200 metres in length has increased twice compared with period 5 years ago (2009).