World’s second largest container ship docks in Hamburg

The biggest container ship in the port of Hamburg’s history docked at the Hanseatic city on Thursday. Almost exactly 50 years ago, the very first container ship was welcomed at the port.

World’s second largest container ship docks in Hamburg
The CMA CGM Antoine de Saint Exupéry in Hamburg on Thursday. Photo: DPA

Never before has a freighter of this size been to Germany’s largest seaport.

With a maximum loading capacity of 20,776 containers, the “CMA CGM Antoine de Saint Exupéry” launched in 2018 is 400 metres long and 59 metres wide. The ship beats the previous record holder “Munich Maersk” with its 20,568 containers which arrived in Hamburg for the first time last August.

The CMA CGM Antoine de Saint Exupéry is moreover the second largest container ship in the world; only the six G-class sister ships that belong to shipping company OOCL are larger than it – each with a capacity of 21,413 containers.

The vessel is furthermore of particular importance for the Hanseatic city as French shipping company CMA CGM is the port of Hamburg’s largest customer.

When the freighter arrived in Hamburg early in the morning on Thursday, its huge size meant that four tugboats had to help it dock.

It will probably take until Saturday morning until the approximate 11,000 containers have been handled, said port spokesman Bengt van Beuningen. On Saturday, when the ship is set to leave Hamburg, 7,000 containers filled with electronics and textiles will have been unloaded and 4,000 containers loaded, according to van Beuningen.

Around 67 employees have been working in shifts with the help of nine gantry cranes to get the big job done.

The arrival of the CMA CGM Antoine de Saint Exupéry falls into a historic year for Hamburg. Almost 50 years ago, on May 31st 1968, the first container ship docked in the city’s port, marking the beginning of the cargo ship revolution in Germany’s sea transport sector.


Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.