P&O Nedlloyd has launched its second vessel of the Southampton Class, the P&O Nedlloyd Kobe. It is the second of four 6,690-teu (20 ft equivalent units) vessels to be launched this year and was named at a traditional Japanese ceremony at the Port of Kobe Shinko. During the event, the company announced that it would contribute to a new care home for orphans - Hamakaze no ie, or 'House of sea breeze' - who were victims of the 1995 Kobe earthquake. Present at the naming ceremony were the mayor of Kobe, Kazutoshi Sasayama, and his wife, Midori, who officially named the vessel. Others included Haye van Noord, president of P&O Nedlloyd Japan, Yasushi Sekine, director of P&O Nedlloyd Japan, Captain D.J. Bailey, master of the P&O Nedlloyd Kobe, and Noboyuki Yamamoto, the director-general of Kobe Port and Harbour Bureau. The new vessel will operate in P&O Nedlloyd's Northern European-Asia service in co-operation with Grand Alliance partners. Its port rotation will include Kobe, Nagoya, Shimizu, Tokyo, Singapore, Southampton, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Le Havre. The third of P&O Nedlloyd's Southampton-Class vessels, the P&O Nedlloyd Rotterdam, was launched yesterday, and its fourth and final 6,690-teu vessel, the P&O Nedlloyd Kowloon, is to be launched later this year.