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    Largest Container Ship Visits Southampton Port, UK

    Just a few weeks ago, the port of Southampton in the UK saw the arrival of the largest container ship. Named Marco Polo after the explorer, the container ship measures a whopping 1,299ft long by 177ft wide. The vessel is longer than four football pitches.

    The container vessel, owned by CMA CGM can hold up to 16,000 containers; it’s this capacity that makes it the world’s largest sea freight container ship.

    New technology incorporated into new container ships such as the Marco Polo, for example, the advances in hydrodynamics, decrease CO2 emissions and energy consumption. The ship’s electronically controlled engine uses an average of three percent less fuel than a regular engine. Provisions to prevent oil leaks (via a specially designed double hull) and reducing the transfer of micro-organisms from one ocean to another (via a water treatment system) have also been made. Advances such as these make new container ships more environmentally friendly and conserving for the marine environment.

    Competitor Maersk is working on building an even larger ocean freight container ship to hold 18,000 containers, after previously holding the record for the largest shipping vessel with capacity of 11,000 containers.

    The Marco Polo container ship will adopt a route to link Asia to Northern Europe. As one of the fastest ocean freight services between Asia and the United Kingdom, it also has comprehensive coverage of China, visiting Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen and Hong Kong to name a few, visiting Southampton in the UK .

    Call us today to discuss your import shipment from Asia to the United Kingdom – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email:


    Request a Quote for Shipping to or from Southampton Port

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      Air Freight Cargo Picks Up

      After a very slow and somewhat dismal start to 2011 it looks like Airfreight Export and Import cargo is finally picking up with growth since January around 4% and the annual forecast should be between 5-10% up on the second half of 2010.

      However rising fuel prices have squeezed margins for most carriers with increases in Fuel meaning that to secure business the carriers have had to cut basic Airfreight Rate per KG to hold onto and increase market share.

      It remains to be seen if traditional Summer and Christmas “peak seasons” will drive volume up, it seems likely that the costs incurred for exporting or importing by air could well result in volumes remaining low until first quarter 2012 when the London olympics should begin to increase overall Import Volume, especially into London Heathrow.

      For more information, or air freight rates, services and general guidance please contact one of our expert team at Mercator Cargo Systems on 02392 75 65 75

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      Container Freight Rate Increase on Hold

      Many carriers are putting planned GRI (General Rate Increase) for the 1st of August on hold due to lower than forecasted Peak Season Container bookings, a number of carriers are already announcing the scrapping of increases way ahead of the proposed implementation date, with most citing growth and volumes at low levels even as we approach the traditional peak season for Christmas goods to begin shipping.

      Some industry sources say that peak season this year will fail to materialise, due to the historically low freight rates but also due to some customers getting burnt in previous years with space problems, some of them having already arranged shipment and in some cases already fully stocked for Christmas.

      For more information on this or any other container, import or export, freight or international trade matters please call the expert team at Mercator Cargo on 02392 756575


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      Antique Ball is Returned to China

      A bell from a picturesque miniature Chinese Temple in Portsmouth’s Victoria Park has been recently returned to China by Mercator Cargo Systems. The traditional style temple built commemorates the Far East commission of HMS Orlando (1899-1902).

      The bell was taken from China during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900.   The bell was captured at the North-West Fort of Taku, which guarded the mouth of the river to Beijing.

      After it’s capture the bell was hung in Portsmouth by the crew of HMS Orlando in honour of their fallen shipmates, lost during the campaign.

      In a letter to the Evening News in 1993 it was suggested that it was an inappropriate artefact for a Naval Memorial and that it should be returned to the temple which it came from.

      On the 13th June 2005, The News reported that a Chinese delegation had arrived in Portsmouth to take possession of the bell.  A replica bell was donated by the Chinese authorities and placed in the memorial in 2007.

      Mercator Cargo Systems, a freight forwarding company in Portsmouth was instructed to arrange for the safe shipment of the antique bell from the UK to China by the Chinese delegation.

      Mercator Cargo is an established freight forwarder in the UK. Founded over twenty years ago, it is a long standing member of the British International Freight Association. The company offers reliable and cost effective international sea, road, air and rail freight forwarding services to and from the UK.

      The companies dedicated team of freight forwarders have extensive experience in all aspects of freight transport, customs clearance and international shipping. The (company’s website) showcases its range of freight forwarding services.


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