The Con-Ro ship Atlantic Concert (1984-2016). This schematic diorama demonstrates the way such a ship is loaded/unloaded at port and gives an idea of her structure in a scale of 1:150. The diorama is a permanent loan made by ACL to the museum.
The „Ro-Ro“ concept in shipping is a rather old idea. The first ship built so that vehicles could „roll in and out“ („Roll on-Roll off“, hence the name) dates to 1833. She was a train ferry, that was in service on the Forth and Clyde Canal in Scotland. However, it is safe to assume that ro-ro ships are as old as the horse and carriage transports that have existed since antiquity, with some examples having a loading ramp not unlike modern examples.
The invention of the container ship is a little more recent. The first ship to ever carry standardized containers was the Ideal X in 1956. Both the container and Ro-Ro belong to the most usual methods of maritime cargo transport nowadays. It is less well known that, since 1967, there are ships built to use both methods at the same time. Those specialized ships are called Con-Ro. They have a deck equipped to transport containers and a ramp so cars, trucks and other vehicles can roll on an off the parking decks inside the ship.
This special ship type is represented in our exhibition by the Con-Ro Ship Atlantic Concert. She was built in 1984 at the Kockums Varv AB shipyard in Malmö, Sweden. She had a gross tonnage of 57,255 and could carry 2,908 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units, the standard container size). This may not appear as much compared to today’s larger container carriers, but it was quite a lot when it was built. Her owner was the Atlantic Container Line (ACL), a shipping company with a focus on Con-Ro ships. This ship had a successful career of 32 years. In 1987 she went to the Hyunday Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea, and was lengthened from 249 to 292 meters. Her name was then changed to Concert Express, but she got her original name back in 1994. On August the 7th 2016, she left the Port of Hamburg for a final voyage to the scrapping yards of Alang, India. She made way to a new class of Con-Ro ships of ACL: the „Generation 4“.