- Author: Simon David Adams
- Keywords: Maritime
Not only does MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company’s newest vessel set a size benchmark for containerships in terms of capacity, but it has also been designed with a number of efficiency enhancing features. For example, the engine has been optimized so that fuel consumption can be automatically controlled to take into account both speed and weather conditions and she has a broad optimal speed range for enhanced operational flexibility.
“For over forty years the MSC family has been growing – and so too has our fleet,“ Diego Aponte, MSC President and CEO, shares with us. “Our partnership with DNV GL continues to be an important part of our journey. Today we are proud to own the largest container vessel on the seas, the MSC Oscar, which adds to our solid reputation as a leading ocean carrier. She will soon be joined by sister ship MSC Oliver, built to the same demanding class regulations, which marks yet another milestone in our ongoing relationship with DNV GL.”
In less than twenty years the loading capacity of container vessels has more than tripled – with the length of the biggest vessels jumping from just over 300 to 400m during that time. MSC Oscar measures in at 395.4m long and 59m wide with a draft of 16m. Initially specified at 18,000TEU MSC Oscar was expanded during the building phase to add an extra tier above decks. The state of the art containership is unique in its wide beam design and use of torsion box and hatch coaming plates with steel plate thickness up to 100mm. The vessel is able to carry dangerous goods in holds, and approximately 1,800 reefer containers.
The vessel’s cargo capacity has also been enhanced by implementing the RSCS class notation (Route Specific Container Stowage). The RSCS notation was developed by DNV GL to provide an even more efficient usage of cargo capacity with more flexibility for laden containers on board for specific routes while not compromising on safety.
“We are very pleased to mark this historic event with MSC, given our longstanding business relationship,” said Jan-Olaf Probst, Global Ship Type Director at DNV GL – Maritime. “DNV GL is proud to have been a part of MSC’s growth into a world leader in container shipping and we hope to be able to continue our successful cooperation for many years to come. MSC’s decision to construct MSC Oscar and its upcoming newbuildings according to the DNV GL regulations reflects a clear focus for quality, maximum efficiency and an awareness of the need for a more sustainable industry.”
The vessel’s construction took only eleven months to be completed from steel cutting to delivery, which included extensive commissioning and sea trials. MSC Oscar is the first of the series of six ultra large containerships (ULCS) of Olympic Series. The remaining sister vessels of the series are expected to be completed by November 2015.
The cooperation between MSC and DNV GL stretches back to some of MSC’s first vessels. And in 2005 the company’s first entry into the large boxship market, the 9,000TEU MSC Pamela, was built to DNV GL class rules.
Today, MSC has 18 more vessels of over 19,000TEU on order. These deliveries could move MSC into the position of being the largest container shipping line in the world. The next of these vessels, MSC Oliver, also with DNV GL class, is expected for delivery in April.
DNV GL has been the class of choice for shipowners moving into the ULCS segment, with virtually all of the largest vessels being constructed according to DNV GL rules.
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. is a privately owned global shipping company founded in 1970 by Gianluigi Aponte. As one of the world’s leading container shipping lines with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, MSC operates in over 450 offices across more than 150 countries worldwide with over 24,000 employees. With access to an integrated network of road, rail and sea transport resources which stretches across the globe, the company prides itself on delivering global service with local knowledge. MSC’s shipping line sails on more than 200 trade routes, calling at over 315 ports.