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Berge Stahl, former flagship of the Rotterdam port, makes its last call

The Berge Stahl docked at the EECV’s ore quay (across the water from Hoek van Holland). This is the 249th and final time the ship called on the port. For 25 years, the Berge Stahl served as the unofficial ‘flagship of the port of Rotterdam’. All in all, it has transported close to 90 million tonnes of iron ore to Rotterdam.

With a capacity of 365,000 tonnes, a length of 343 metres and a width of 63.5 metres, the Berge Stahl ranked for a long time as the largest dry bulk vessel in the world. After being taken into operation on 5 December 1986, the ship was used to transport iron ore between Ponta da Madeira in Northern Brazil and Rotterdam. It made some nine or ten roundtrips every year. The new vessel Vale Brasil was taken into service in May 2011. With a capacity of 400,000 tonnes, this ship is ‘one size up’ compared to Berge Stahl. And the Singapore-based shipping company Berge Bulk operates even larger vessels than this, including the Berge Neblina, which first called on Rotterdam in November 2013.

According to planning, the Berge Stahl will depart from Rotterdam for the last time on 16 December. ThyssenKrupp has not renewed its contract with the 30-year-old vessel.

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