Friday, November 3, 2023

MSC Freeport

 The MSC Freeport made its first call in Halifax today (November 3) on the Mediterranean Shipping Company's Canada Express 2 service. That line operates between the Mediterranean and Montreal, and its ships often call in Halifax to top off cargo (eastbound) or to lighten (westbound) due to draft restrictions on the St.Lawrence River.

The ship is arriving from Montreal, so will take on more cargo here, to bring the ship to ocean going draft. With transatlantic freight rates at a very low point these days, the line will want to carry as many containers as it can to reduce the cost per box.

MSC is well known for operating older ships. It is also noted for its buying spree over the past two years and this ship confirms that reputation on both counts.

MSC Freeport was built in 2006 by Hanjin Heavy Industry + Construction Co in Busan. The 54,193 gt, 68,383 dwt ship has a capacity of 5,060 TEU including 494 reefers. Original owners Oscar Wehr KG GmbH + Co named the ship Wehr Hong Kong but it was almost immediately taken up on charter by Maersk and renamed Maersk Dellys. On conclusion of that contract in 2014 it became Wehr Hong Kong again  until 2017. It was then apparently sold to Ningbo and renamed Zhong Liang Hong Xiang, then in 2019 Xin Feng Yang Pu

MSC acquired the ship in 2022 and deviated from the usual naming regime. Instead of using a woman's name, it became the MSC Freeport. That was no doubt to do with MSC's investment in the Freeport, Bahamas container terminal. MSC has been developing hub ports around the world, by investing in existing port operations. They have since also invested in the cruise ship terminal in Freeport.


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