Felixstowe sails into Felixstowe!

THE PORT of Felixstowe today welcomed its namesake, Cosco Felixstowe, on its inaugural voyage.The 5,400-tonne vessel, completed earlier this year in China, is 280m long, 39.

THE PORT of Felixstowe today welcomed its namesake, Cosco Felixstowe, on its inaugural voyage.

The 5,400-tonne vessel, completed earlier this year in China, is 280m long, 39.8m wide and 60m high. Capable of an economic speed of 24 knots, it will be deployed on Cosco's Far East service.

From Felixstowe, it will call at Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, Shanghai, Dalian, Qingdao, Xiamen, Yantian, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Port co-hosted a reception today with Cosco (UK) Ltd to commemorate Cosco Felixstowe's maiden call, attended by local dignitaries, including the mayor of Felixstowe, Malcolm Minns.

During the reception, Cosco Felixstowe's master, Mr Song Qiming, was presented by Richard Pearson, managing director of Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd ,with a special limited-edition print of the port.

Mr Pearson said: "We are extremely delighted to welcome Cosco Felixstowe on its maiden call at the Port of Felixstowe today.

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"It is significant that the vessel should bear our name, as Felixstowe has long been established as one of the leading ports for trade with China.

"We are particularly honoured that, with this new series of container ships, one of the first has been named after the Port of Felixstowe."

In keeping with the Chinese connection, Cosco Felixstowe was worked by the port's two new quayside cranes, delivered from Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC) of Shanghai in January.

The cranes arrived in Felixstowe after a journey of nine weeks by sea from China, throughout which they were specially braced against bad weather and heavy seas. They are the largest at the port, with a lift height of 37m above the quay, and heavy lift capacity of 85 tonnes.