Scandinavian Shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen has launched a new shipping service to the USA from Royal Portbury Dock, Bristol.
The Theben will take British-built Jaguars, Land Rovers, Mini and heavy construction plant to the east and west coasts of the USA.
Launched last year, the Theben is a new High Efficiency RoRo (HERO) class vessel. The third in a total of eight "Post Panamax” vessels to be launched in the years 2015-2017. She joined her sister vessels Thalatta and Thermopylae in the line of RoRo vessels taking advantage of the widened Panama Canal.
Like her sister vessels, Theben measures almost 200 metres long, 36.5 metres wide and features five liftable car decks, allowing for multiple configurations and a wide variety of customer cargo. The vessel can transport up to 8,000 car equivalent units.
David Brown, chief executive officer, at The Bristol Port Company said: “We are the nearest major UK Port to the USA and this is the first ship of a weekly service that reflects the booming car export business at Bristol Port. Last year the Port handled nearly 200,000 vehicles for export and a 20 per cent increase is predicted this year.”