Safmarine to build two new Big Whites

Jun 28, 2003
Author: P&S

Safmarine says it will build two larger and faster container ships to replace its fleet of four ‘Big White’ vessels introduced in 1977/1978.

The two new vessels will be built at AP Møller Group’s Lindø Shipyard in Denmark for delivery in January 2005. The ships will enter service with Safmarine on the Southern Africa Europe Container Service (Saecs).

In May this year it was announced that members of the weekly named-day Saecs service would replace the existing fleet with six new-built ships. This fleet consists of seven vessels – SA Helderberg, Sederberg, SA Winterberg (Safmarine vessels), Maersk Constantia (ex SA Waterberg) (Maersk Sealand vessel), City of Cape Town and Heemskerck (both P&O Nedlloyd vessels), and DAL Kalahari (Deutsche Afrika Line).

According to Safmarine their two new ships will be purpose-built for this trade, with an increase in capacity and equipped with reefer plugs capable of accepting integral reefer containers. This replaces the current blown air (Conair) reefer system, which is practically the last remaining Conair system still in general use by any shipping group.

“The purchase will meet the future needs of our expanding customer base on this core trade. The new vessels have been designed to cater for our key customer requirements on dry as well as temperature controlled shipments,” says Safmarine’s Liner Director, Ivan Heesom-Green.

Saecs is a shipping conference involving Safmarine, Maersk Sealand, P&O Nedlloyd and DAL and operates a weekly named-day container service between Northern Europe and South Africa. The consortium also operates a weekly intermediate service, which normally terminates at East London on the South African leg.

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