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The Warsaw Voice » Business » February 4, 2010
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Gdańsk Seaport Looks Far East
February 4, 2010 By Marek Grzybowski   
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The Polish Baltic seaport of Gdańsk is now part of the Europe-Asia (AE10) service of Maersk Line, a giant international container shipping company. The company's 8,400 TEU Maersk Taikung ocean-going container vessel berthed at the Deepwater Container Terminal (DCT) Gdańsk wharf Jan. 4, launching a direct connection between Gdańsk and the Far East.

The vessel, whose port of registry is Singapore, brought in 400 containers to Gdańsk and took out 250 containers.

"This is just the beginning-more vessels are headed for our port carrying more containers," said Boris Wenzel, president of the DCT Gdańsk SA company. "The port of Gdańsk will be an important hub on the Baltic Sea and our terminal will be handling 60 percent of containers destined for the Polish market and 40 percent of transshipments destined for other Baltic ports."

Paweł Adamowicz, mayor of Gdańsk, marked the event by presenting an amber badge to Hanne Sorensen of Maersk Line. The badge commemorates the first call of the Maersk Taikung at the port of Gdańsk.

The Deepwater Container Terminal (DCT) within the Port of Gdańsk is the only terminal in Poland capable of handling massive container ships known as post-Panamax vessels. The terminal's wharf is 16.5 meters deep. It offers DCT Gdańsk a chance to become a transit port for Central Europe and other Baltic ports. Until recently, all containers from China and other Asian countries reached Poland via the ports of Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam and Antwerp on the North Sea. The containers were reloaded in the ports' container terminals onto feeder ships, which delivered the cargo to Polish ports. However, much of the cargo destined for Poland bypassed Polish ports and was transported from the North Sea ports by road or rail.

The AE10 service, operated by 10 of Maersk Line's 500 container vessels, ensures weekly calls of ships at DCT Gdańsk. The vessels are able to transport from 7,200 TEU to 8,400 TEU. It takes 36 days for a vessel to travel from Ningbo, China, to Gdańsk and over 40 days to travel back from Gdańsk to Yokohama, Japan. The vessel calls at around 20 ports during its over two-month voyage.

DCT Gdańsk started operating more than two years ago. It was built by the Australian-based Macquarie Group of Companies. The terminal covers 44 hectares and includes reloading facilities for post-Panamax vessels, a 650-meter wharf, of which a 385-meter section is 16.5 meters deep, storage depots for 22,500 containers and warehouses covering 7,200 sq m. Apart from access roads, the terminal has its own railway siding.
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