From mid-June 2009, the CMA-CGM line and Maersk are to introduce a new container freight service between Asia and the Adriatic. This joint service anticipates the employment of eight post-panamax vessels, each with the capacity of 6,500 TEUs, which, via Suez, will connect Far Eastern ports with Koper and Trieste. The new route, involving the largest container ships ever to land at the Port of Koper, is of huge strategic importance to the company. Furthermore, from this perspective, the decision to invest in the extension of Pier I has been vindicated, while global trends appear to suggest that the number of such vessels seems destined to increase in the future.
The Container Terminal at Pier I has recently been extended by 146 metres, and currently the quayside hinterland is being reclaimed in order to provide additional storage areas. The acquisition of additional equipment is also underway, while four new post-panamax cranes – two of which are to be delivered in July, and the remaining two in October – will increase handling capacities at Koper’s Container Terminal. The existing panamax cranes currently facilitate the handling of vessels with capacities of up to 4,500 TEUs, so all operations in the intermediate period will be technically adjusted in arrangement with the shipping lines.