Sunday, February 25, 2024

CMA CGM Mexico

Between 2009 and 2022 CMA CGM had a major building program to add twenty-two ships of the same design to the fleet. Called the Argentina class, the first five were built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan. They had conventional diesel engines and were equipped with exhaust gas scrubbers. The remaining ships have dual fuel capability, with LNG as the alternate, and all seventeen were built by Hyundai's Samho shipyard. 

The first ship in the series, not surprisingly, was named CMA CGM Argentina, and was delivered July 1, 2009. The second ship, called CMA CGM Mexico was delivered July 19, 2009. It arrived in Halifax today, February 25, on CMA CGM's Columbus loop. This is not its first call in Halifax, however. That was on April 19, 2021 and it has called here regularly since.

In 2021 the Argentina class sister ships were the largest ships to call at any Canadian port, with a nominal container capacity of 15,000 TEU. However they have since been eclipsed by another series of CMA CGM ships, the Explorer class of 16,000 TEU capacity. The current record holder for Halifax is the Explorer class CMA CGM Marco Polo (although one of its sister ships may edge it out slightly). Even those ships are now considered relatively puny on a world scale with scores of ships that boast capacity of more than 24,000 TEU. 

Nevertheless CMA CGM Mexico is an impressive sight as it enters port, dwarfing its three escort tugs. At 149,314 gt, 157,076 dwt its capacity is usually quoted at 15,072 TEU.

One of the stern escort tugs has scooted around to the starboard quarter to assist in turning to dock at PSA Halifax Atlantic Hub.

The CMA CGM Mexico's last port in Asia was Colombo, Sri Lanka, sailing January 26. It then deviated from its usual route to avoid the Red Sea and sailed via the Cape of Good Hope to Tanger Med, Morocco, arriving there February 17, then clearing the next day for Halifax.

CMA CGM has since sent a ship through the Suez Canal and Red Sea en route from Europe to Asia. CMA CGM Jules Verne passed southbound from Suez, February 12, and transited the Red Sea with a French warship as escort. The CMA Jules Verne is a member of the Explorer class and is also on the Columbus Loop. Its current ETA for Halifax is July 31.


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