UK flag’s biggest ship in the world calls at Southampton

14 May 2015

On Wednesday 13 May, the largest vessel in the British fleet and third largest ship in the world – the 17,722 teu container ship CMA CGM Kerguelen – called at the port of Southampton.

She arrived at DP World Southampton’s container terminal on her maiden voyage which began when she left Shanghai, Hong Kong, last month. 

CMA CGM Kerguelen rivals some of the world’s biggest ships at 398 m long and 54 m wide. She is the first of a series of six vessels of the same size set for delivery this year.

Deployed on the FAL route linking Europe to Asia, CMA CGM Kerguelen calls in 11 countries and has the capacity to transport almost 200,000 tons of goods from clothes and televisions to sofas and washing machines.

CMA CGM Kerguelen berthed at Southampton’s new deep water berth, SCT 5, which was specifically built and commissioned with four brand new super-post panamax cranes, to accommodate these ultra large container ships. 

Over £100 million has been invested by Associated British Ports, as the harbour authority, to ensure that Southampton can continue to stay at the forefront of the UK container market.


Rob Waterman, CMA CGM (UK) Chief Executive, watched Kerguelen arrive in Southampton, and commented: “Clearly I am biased, but she really is a very impressive sight. She will not be in port for more than 24 hours thanks to the great service we get here in Southampton.”


Chris Lewis, Managing Director, DP World Southampton, added: “UK PLC and the global economy rely on vessels such as these to transport goods all over the world to our shop shelves. The trend for larger and larger vessels means ports and terminals, like ours, need to keep pace. Shipping lines and cargo owners need the fast and efficient service that has become Southampton’s trademark.”

Visitors, including the Chairman of CMA CGM (UK), Michael Parker and the Sir Alan Massey Chief Executive of the Maritime Coastguard Agency, joined management from DP World Southampton and Associated British Ports to present the Captain of the CMA CGM Kerguelen with a traditional plaque to commemorate her maiden call.

CMA CGM Kerguelen, is not the first vessel in the CMA CGM fleet to be registered under the UK flag. The company has 40 vessels on the UK register.