The MSC Isabella makes the biggest container ship call in the UK
- Credit: Archant
The giant MSC Isabella has become the largest container ship ever to dock in the UK after calling at Felixstowe.
The ship, owned by the Mediterranean Shipping Company, made the cargo call in Suffolk on Monday after completing her maiden voyage from the north of China.
At around 400 metres long and 61 metres wide, MSC Isabella can carry 23,656 TEU (20ft equivalent units) and is significantly longer than the Empire State Building is tall.
Bigger ships generally emit less CO2 per container carried, helping companies moving goods on MSC's services between Asia and Europe to lower the carbon footprint of their supply chains.
There was further celebration as the ship was officially named while docked at Felixstowe - the first time that MSC has carried out a naming ceremony in the UK.
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MSC Isabella is the sister ship of MSC Gülsün, the world's largest container ship, and forms part of a new class of 23,000+ TEU vessels to be added in 2019-2020 to the global shipping network of MSC.
It was built at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering shipyard in South Korea and delivered in August 2019.
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Dan Everitt, managing director at MSC UK said: "Today is a truly momentous occasion for MSC UK and I feel so proud to stand alongside our people, our customers and suppliers to witness not only the biggest ever cargo call to the Port of Felixstowe, but MSC's first ever vessel naming ceremony here in the UK.
"When I first joined MSC in 1984 at just 17 years old, the largest vessel at that time was the MSC Alexandra at 650 TEU. The MSC Isabella is more than 23,000 TEU larger which just shows the sheer scale and growth of MSC and the maritime industry over the past three decades.
"It's a really exciting time for MSC in the UK having recently expanded our local headquarters through the acquisition of a third building in Ipswich, Suffolk and we're extremely grateful to the MSC Group for their global investment and commitment to UK operations."
The MSC Isabella can carry more than 2,000 refrigerated containers, boosting the trade of food, drink, pharmaceutical and other chilled and frozen items between Asia and Europe.
As a family company, MSC vessels are named after relatives of MSC employees.