Just thought I'd record a few aspects of my New Years's Day visit to London Gateway, to film the Al Muraykh working alongside after arriving with the world's largest container load (to date!).
I've tried to record a little more about how it feels to be aboard one of these massive vessels. The single factor that always makes the most impression on me is one effect of the size of these monsters - the rock-like stability. Most of us will have sailed on vessels of some size, maybe ferries of around 30,000 GT or more, and these often move a little when heavily laden trailers come aboard. But the big container vessels simply don't move at all, when boxes are lifted or lowered, and the accommodation block is virtually silent, regardless of how near the cranes are working. I find it a little bit odd - all the heavy and noisy activity outside, and the bridge an island of peace and serenity!
As usual aboard the relatively modern container ships I've managed to visit, the accomodation block is spectacularly clean and smart - this ship is of course virtually brand new, but container carriers tend to age quite quickly on the ourside, but retain their smart looks and style inside.
As far as the port is concerned, London Gateway looks as if it is carrying out many more twin (2 x 40ft) and quad (4 x 20ft) lifts than I've seen anywhere else. Multiple lifts like this really depend on the ship being loaded to maximise them, by managing the original loading placement of boxes, and it looks like Gateway can use this method to up the number of moves per hour, per crane - the key factor in achieving a fast port turnaround.
As usual, I've made two videos, both of which are available on this site's video page as well as my own site.