The 13,400 TEU Cosco England, the newest addition to the Cosco fleet, has made its maiden call at the Port of Felixstowe.
Registered in Hong Kong, the giant container ship is deployed on Cosco’s NE1 Asia – Europe service. With a length overall of 366m and a 153,666 deadweight tonnage, the Cosco England is the largest container ship in the Cosco fleet.
Speaking at a ceremony on board the vessel at Felixstowe’s Trinity Terminal, Clemence Cheng, CEO of the Port of Felixstowe, said: “Our relationship with Cosco dates back to 1989 when their first vessel called at the Port of Felixstowe, and we are honoured that they continue to make Felixstowe their UK port of call.
"We are the major gateway for trade with China, and the Cosco England is a magnificent testimony to the importance of the Europe – Asia trade.
“It is appropriate that this magnificent ship has been christened the Cosco England, reflecting the increasingly strong economic ties that link China and the largest part of the United Kingdom. We are proud of the role we play in facilitating this trade and committed to providing the facilities and level of service that these modern mega-vessels require.”
Simon Yang, chief executive of COSCO UK, said: “The UK is absolutely one of the most important markets for Cosco Group.l We have set up our bulk shipping, and logistics business in this country, plus a fleet of seven container ships flying the red ensign. With the ever-growing investment, trade, cultural exchanges between China and the United Kingdom, Cosco is trying to do more to cover the whole UK and Ireland market, to improve efficiency, definitely with help of our partners like Hutchison and our customers.”
The guest of honour at the event, His Excellency Liu Xiaoming, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in the United Kingdom, added: “Almost one and a half centuries ago, the Cutty Sark was travelling between China and Britain. Her predominant business was to carry tea from China. Today Cosco England has a new mission in China-Britain trade. Apart from tea, Cosco England will bring a multitude of items such as household consumer goods, mechanical and electronic appliances.
“In turn, Cosco England will carry to China not only wine, beer and whisky, but also vast quantities of aviation equipment, cars, machinery and medical instruments. Cosco England will become a symbol of China-Britain cooperation in the 21st century, which is more extensive and substantial. More importantly, this cooperation is now based on equal-footing and mutually beneficial.”
Cosco owns 187 container vessels totalling over 840,000 TEUs which are deployed on over 100 routes, covering 140 principal ports in 44 countries and regions. As well as Felixstowe, the NE1 service also calls at Ningbo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Nansha, Algeciras, Hamburg, Rotterdam and Singapore.