February 17, 2015: Barcelona Europe South Terminal (BEST) handled the largest containership ever to call at the Port of Barcelona, the 16,600 TEU MSC London, it also set a new productivity record, discharging 618 containers, and loading 1,035, in less than eight hours: a rate of 212.58 moves per hour. Individual cranes operated at rates of up to 45 moves per hour, one of the best in Europe.
Commenting on the new records, Guillermo Belcastro, General Manager of BEST, said, "BEST is the only semi-automated terminal in Spain and the only one in the Mediterranean to be equipped with 11 ship-to-shore gantry cranes large enough to handle the latest generation of mega-vessel. We achieved this record using seven cranes at the peak supported by our fleet of 36 automatic stacking cranes."
"Backed up with state-of-the-art operating systems, including HPH's proprietary terminal operating system, nGen, BEST offers shipping lines and shippers the most efficient way of accessing markets in Spain and southern France."
The MSC London (left) is one of the largest ships operated by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). Built in 2014, the vessel is 399 metres in length with a breadth of 54 metres and a draft of 16 metres.
With a gross tonnage of 176,490 tonnes the call was the last at the port from the MSC Dragon Express service. The MSC London was followed on 11 February 2015 by a call from the 10,300 TEU Susan Maersk, the first call at BEST by the new 2M alliance between MSC and Maersk.
Barcelona Europe South Terminal (BEST) is the first semi-automated terminal of Hutchison Port Holdings Limited (HPH) and the most technologically advanced port development project in Spain. It is capable of serving multiple mega-vessels simultaneously and has an eight-track railway facility, the biggest on-dock railway terminal of any port in the Mediterranean connecting it to traffic coming from, and destined for, Southern Europe.
BEST is a member of HPH. HPH, a subsidiary of the multinational conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL), is the world's leading port investor, developer and operator. The HPH network of port operations comprises 319 berths in 52 ports, spanning 26 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Over the years, HPH has expanded internationally into other logistics and transportation-related businesses. These include cruise ship terminals, airport operations, distribution centres, rail services, and ship repair facilities.