MSC’s Sofia Celeste has become the first neo-Panamax vessel to call at Tilbury’s London Container Terminal, following her transit of the newly enlarged Panama Canal.
The ship has a capacity of over 8,800 TEUs and is the first in a new class of vessels deployed on a reconfigured service connecting the West Coast of South America, East Coast of North America and North West Europe.
Natasha Griffin, commercial import general manager for MSC, said: “Following the recent opening of the expanded Panama Canal, we have created this new service for our customers. It allows larger vessels to transit the canal, directly linking the US and South America with Europe. We are delighted to have called into London Container Terminal, following the vessel’s first voyage through the Canal, and we look forward to further developing services of this kind in the future.”
Ross McKissock, head of commercial at London Container Terminal said: “It is very exciting for us all here at LCT to see neo-Panamax class vessels in our port this weekend. The MSC Sofia Celeste marks a step change in connectivity for Tilbury’s customers offering much improved links to the growing South American and Transatlantic market allied with access to Europe’s largest portside chill store which NFT opened at the port this year.”