The container ship HMM Algeciras, the largest container ship in the world, arrived at the Port of Antwerp last week to load and unload containers at PSA's North Sea Terminal.
The Korean ship, which can carry 23,964 TEUs, is 400 metres long, 61 metres wide and has 23 crew members.
"We are delighted to welcome the HMM Algeciras," said Jacques Vandermeiren, chief executive at the port. "In doing so, we are showing that our port can receive the largest container ships.
"This puts Antwerp in a good position for further up-scaling. It is our ambition to continue to grow as a port in a sustainable way, with a finger firmly on the pulse of the global economic situation.
"At the port of Antwerp, we are resilient," he added. "We remained 100 per cent operational during the pandemic, and while we will also see the effects of the coronavirus crisis on our figures, we continue to look ahead with faith in the future."
Jae-hoon Bae, president and CEO of HMM, explained that last April was important for HMM because of "two historic events".
"One of these was the completion of our rebranding process, with the adoption of our official company name 'HMM'," he explained. "The other was the delivery of HMM Algeciras, the world's largest 24K-class container ship.
"The debut of HMM Algeciras in Europe and the first call at the port of Antwerp has enormous symbolic significance," Bae added. "I believe that 24K-class ships will serve to ensure a mutual partnership between the port of Antwerp and HMM.”
Annick De Ridder, port alderman, noted: “Our port continues to dedicate itself successfully to sustainable growth and the arrival of the largest container ship in the world, the HMM Algeciras, is a great recognition of this. It is an incentive that continues to encourage us to carry on building tomorrow's port today. This is the only way that world players will continue to choose our city as their gateway to Europe.”