MAERSK Line of Denmark has taken over the operation of Terminal 1 at Thailand's Laem Chabang port. The terminal will be operated in a joint venture with two Thai partners under a long-term lease with port authorities. Initially, only self-sustained container and conventional vessels will be handled at the terminal, which will be fully operational with new gantry cranes and yard equipment in early 1997. The terminal has a 300-metre long berth with water depth of 14 metres. The annual container handling capacity is in excess of 300,000 teu (20-foot equivalent units). Laem Chabang, 120 kilometres southeast of Bangkok, is connected through a well-developed highway and rail system. The port is being strongly promoted by the Thai government to alleviate the heavy congestion of both Bangkok port, situated up-river in the middle of the city, and the city itself.