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Rotterdam celebrates golden jubilee as a European container port

Rotterdam is celebrating 50 years as the largest container port in Europe.

On 3 May 1966, the MS Fairland, built in 1942 at Gulf Shipbuilding Corp in the US, called at Rotterdam. Owned by Malcolm McLean, famed founder of the containerised freight trade, the vessel was converted in 1957 to carry containerised cargo and was one of the first ships to carry this cargo across the Atlantic. 

Today’s commemoration, however, took place onboard the 2015-built UASC Al Zubara, moored at the automated Euromax Terminal Rotterdam. Euromax is owned by parent company Europe Container Terminals (ECT), the container transhipment company founded after the arrival of the MS Fairland. However, at 19,870 teu, the UASC vessel is somewhat larger than its 226 teu American predecessor.

Emile Hoogsteden, director of containers, breakbulk & logistics at the Port of Rotterdam Authority (pictured, right), handed a "container cake'" to the captain and Rob Bagchus of the ECT (left), in keeping with the celebration’s theme.

Posted 03 May 2016

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