More than 800 guests gathered in late July in a custom-made tent at the MSC Gate Terminal in Bremerhaven to witness the naming ceremony of the latest edition to Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) fleet, MSC MICHEL CAPPELLINI, with the ship as backdrop.
Prior to the naming ceremony, MSC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Free and Hanseatic Cities of Bremen and Hamburg and their ports (pictured), agreeing on the use of shore power for MSC’s vessels in both ports.
MSC MICHEL CAPPELLINI is one of the world’s largest and most fuel-efficient container ships by design. At 400 metres in length and with a 61.5 metre beam, it has a capacity of up to 24,346 TEU with the design and technical specifications enabling shipment of more cargo at the lowest carbon footprint per container carried.
The vessel employs a small bulbous bow, large diameter propellers and energy-saving ducts, which will help to further reduce fuel consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions.
MSC MICHEL CAPPELLINI and her sister ships are also built with an air lubrication system to reduce drag on the hull, as well as shaft generators to yield additional power.
In his welcome speech, MSC CEO Soren Toft highlighted the importance of Bremerhaven to MSC as a European cargo hub: “The ports in Bremen are such an important cargo hub for us in Germany and in Northwest Europe. It is truly a strategic location for MSC, and home to over 370 of our colleagues.
:However, our connection with Germany goes deeper than trade. This is the third naming ceremony of an MSC vessel since 2015, and the second in Bremerhaven. It is therefore by no surprise that we continue to grow with our customers in Germany.”
Soren continued: “Efficiency and innovation are two drivers that led to the development of the MSC MICHEL CAPPELLINI. Through innovation we seek to shift the boundaries of what is possible and surpass our own industry-breaking milestones, a process of continuous evolution. Both, as a family company and as the leader of our industry, we are very mindful of MSC’s key role in decarbonizing the logistics value chain, and the benchmark we set for others in our industry.”
MSC Germany Managing Director Nils Kahn also highlighted the importance of the ports of Bremen as an MSC location: “We handle more than 1 Mio TEU per year here and run dedicated trains to and from many domestic locations. We are connecting the world from exactly this location with a weekly service to the Eastern Mediterranean, two weekly services to the Far East, three weekly services to South America and Mexico and an impressive five weekly services to North America.”
The ship’s blessing was conducted by Provost Dr. Bernhard Stecker, who has led the Catholic Community Association Bremen since 2019 and is the head of the Catholic Office in Bremen, the liaison office of the Catholic Church to the Bremen Senate and the Bremen Parliament in the state. After the blessing, Godmother Cindy-Jo Cappellini performed the christening of the ship by cutting the ribbon and smashing a bottle of champagne against the hull.
Yellow confetti streamed down, the ship’s horns sounded and MSC MICHEL CAPPELLINI can now travel the world’s oceans.
Shortly before the naming ceremony started, Kai Stuehrenberg, State Secretary for Economic Affairs of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Andreas Dressel, Senator for Finance of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and MSC CEO Soren Toft met for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreeing on the use of shore power for MSC container vessels in both ports.
Soren Toft said: “I am particularly proud that we signed a Memorandum of Understanding between MSC, the Free and Hanseatic Cities of Bremen and Hamburg, and their port administrations, to partner and collaborate on the implementation of shore power taking us one step closer to ensuring a decarbonized supply chain for global trade.”
MSC Germany Managing Director Nils Kahn also called on German authorities in Berlin to ensure closer collaboration between German ports on the topic of infrastructure development, citing the MoU signed between MSC and the port authorities as an example of what private-public partnership means for MSC.
Additional speeches were given by Kai Stuehrenberg, State Secretary for Economic Affairs of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Andreas Dressel, Senator for Finance of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.
The naming ceremony highlighted MSC’s commitment to sustainability, sports and the arts. It was moderated by German TV presenter Jule Gölsdorf, who introduced Boris Herrmann, Germany’s leading yachtsman, world record holder and skipper of sailing team Team Malizia. Boris Herrmann shared his experience from the recent Ocean Race. MSC is a sponsor of Team Malizia and one of the six Official Founding Partners. In front of the 800-guest crowd Boris expressed his gratitude for MSC’s sponsorship and dedication to net zero commitments.
Guests included representatives of local authorities and businesses, customers and journalists. They enjoyed a spectacular performance by Andrea Casta, the famous Italian crossover electric violinist, and Sarah Voss, Germany’s artistic gymnast, all-around national champion and bronze medal winner in the team competition at the 2022 European Championships. The live music and the acrobatic gymnastic performance expressed the very concept of balance between progress and sustainability, humans and nature, present and past.
MSC CEO Soren Toft concluded: “Global trade is crucial for maintaining peace, economic development and growth, and we are serving as a neutral force in the face of the political and diplomatic adversity we see today. Our new 24,000 TEUs-class ships, some of the world’s largest currently on the water, are essential for facilitating and enabling effective global trade. Ultimately connecting cultures, people and continents.”