Antwerp - Maersk’s owned shipping line Hamburg Süd has christened in Antwerp the “Polar Ecuador” container ship, its new addition to a fleet of reefer fitted vessels. The sponsor of the “Polar Ecuador” is Sonia Van de Vyvere, wife of Philippe Van de Vyvere, owner and CEO of SEA-invest, one of the world’s largest terminal operators for dry bulk, liquid bulk and reefer cargo, including Belgian New Fruit Wharf.
“Antwerp is a highly important port for Hamburg Süd, and the Belgian New Fruit Wharf is a very suitable place for the christening of a ‘Polar’-class vessel,” said Frank Smet, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Hamburg Süd. “After all, with more than 1,000 reefer plugs, the ‘Polar Ecuador’ transports a disproportionately large volume of refrigerated cargo for a container vessel of this size from Mexico and the Caribbean to Antwerp. This includes, for example, bananas, pineapples and melons, which are handled particularly efficiently and professionally by the fruit and reefer specialists here.”
Hamburg Süd has had its own office in Antwerp since 1996, where some 50 employees now work. The “Polar Ecuador” is deployed in Hamburg Süd’s North Europe – Mexico/Caribbean service (EMCS), which connects Antwerp and other European ports in Ireland, Great Britain and Germany with important Mexican and Caribbean ports.
Antwerp is one of the most important destinations in this region for onward distribution to other European markets, especially for bananas. The “Polar Ecuador” belongs to a group of four structurally identical vessels in the “Polar” class that have been built for Hamburg Süd by the Chinese shipyard Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding. With a total length of 230 meters and a width of 37.30 meters, the ship offers a container storage capacity of 3,800 TEU and is equipped with 1,000 reefer plugs.