The YM Uberty made her first call the Port of Hamburg. Built at the CSBC shipyards in Kaohsiung, the container giant owned by the Taiwanese shipping company Yang Ming is 335 meters long, 42.8 meters wide and has a carrying capacity of 8,200 teu and 700 reefer connections. Fully loaded (100.140 dwt) the vessel has a maximum draft of 14.5 meters.

The YM Uberty is deployed in the AES-3 Europe’Far East service operated by the alliance of shipping lines CKYH (COSCO, ‘K’ Line, Yang Ming, Hanjin Shipping), which was launched in November 2007 and is routinely processed at the Eurogate Container Terminal Hamburg (CTH). Following the delivery of the YM Uberty in May 2008, the Port of Hamburg ’ Europe’s most important seaport for cargo on the Far East and China routes ’ was included in the itinerary of the so-called China-Red Sea-Europe service of the CKYH Alliance.

Since that time, the port rotation in the AES-3 service has been: Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Thamesport, Jeddah, Singapore, Shekou, Xingang, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou, Singapore, Jeddah, Port Said, Hamburg.

Until now the AES-3 service had been operated using four ships with carrying capacities between 4,000 and 4,400 teu and fortnightly departures. The deployment of the YM Uberty (8,200 teu) marks the beginning of a series of upgrades to the service on board vessels with a carrying capacity greater than 7,500 teu (Very Large Container Ships - VLCS). In a first phase, another four units belonging to the Yang Ming shipping company are expected to join the service. By mid-2009, additional VLCSs owned by the partner company ‘K’ Line would further boost the AES-3 service, allowing weekly departures to be scheduled.

Containerized traffic with Asia via Hamburg reached a total volume of 5.6 million containers (teu) in 2007. The People’s Republic of China is by far the most important trading partner in containerized traffic for the port on the Elbe River, with 3.2 million containers (teu).