10-Apr-2004 -- This confluence is still a Spanish one. The closest land is Punto Deportivo
de Benalmádena - near Torremolinos, the closest larger town is Málaga, and
opposite, on the African coast, there is Cape Punta de los Frailes with the
town of Al-Hoceïma in Morocco,
only a few hundred meters farther off than the Spanish coast.
Looking North, the Sierras of Andalusia are well visible today at a great
From 36N 4W we have exactly 4 hours to go to the Strait of
Gibraltar, which we will pass this time on our way to England.
Looking to NW we see Sierra de Tolox,
attaining an elevation of about 1800 m.
Looking to South, the Moroccan coast, being only slightly farther away than the Spanish one,
is visible as well.
In a recent visit I have written something about
container shipping. Yesterday we met a huge container ship off the
Algerian coast, coming from the Strait of Gibraltar and bound to her
Medsea-hub Taranto (Italy), after which she will continue through the Suez
Canal to the Far East.
It is an "Evergreen"-liner from Taiwan. Evergreen is the second largest
container operator in the World (after Mærsk-SeaLand from Copenhagen). It is
a real monster.
Container ships' carrying capacity is expressed in TEU (Twenty-feet
Equivalent Unit), i.e. the quantity of 20'-containers they are able to
carry. A 20'-container is the smaller unit, whilst the 40-feeter (FEU) is of
course double as long as the TEU and nowadays more common, as more economic.
A 40' container fits exactly on one railway truck, which then has a length
over all of about 14 metres. This Evergreen-liner belongs to the largest
class of container ships and has certainly a capacity of around 6000 TEU. So
she can load 3000 FEUS, and that corresponds to a length of a cargo train of
about 42 km (26 US statute miles)!
Mærsk-SeaLand, so far as I know, has recently completed the construction of
her latest newbuildings, - some 8000 TEU carriers. And I am positive that
they have got already the drawings for their next series, which will then be
able to carry 10000 TEUS.
Reader living close to a port will frequently see container ships, as they
are very common nowadays.
As before told, Mærsk SeaLand is the largest operator
Then comes Evergreen.
Other big operators are:
MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company based in Geneva/Switzerland and
P&O Nedlloyd (Peninsular & Oriental - Nedlloyd) from London and Rotterdam,
CHOYANG and HANJIN from Korea,
COSCO (Chinese Ocean Shipping Company from Shanghai),
Hapag-Lloyd (Hamburg-Amerikanische Paketfahrt-Aktiengesellschaft) from
CMA-CGM (Compagnie Maritime d'Affrètment - Compagnie Générale Maritime) from
COLUMBUS Line - HAMBURG SÜD (Hamburg-Südamerikanische
Dampfschiffahrtsgesellschaft), Hamburg - (also known as the "Dr. Oetker's
and many others more.
Where are the old traditional US-American container operators? - the ones
who introduced the container in the 60-ies and to whom we owe thanks to this
highly efficient and time saving kind of transport?
No longer anything.
LYKES Lines from New Orleans went finally bankrupt in the late 90-ies, and
SEA LAND became a victim of the voracity of Mærsk.