Posted by: Jerry Garrett | May 25, 2017

Driving My Mercedes To Italy – Day 13 Caribbean Cruisin’

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 11.59.20 AM

The port in Cartagena handles the largest container ships in the Caribbean.


The Duesseldorf Express cargo ship, which is carrying a container with my 1973 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL, pulled into the breathtakingly beautiful port of Cartagena this morning, after short hop from Colon, Panama, where it spent the day before.

The Duesseldorf Express, which picked up the Mercedes at the port in Los Angeles on May 13, is due in Genoa, Italy by June 14; that’s where I am planning to retrieve my Mercedes from the container, so I can drive it around Italy and France for the next few months.

I learned that the Mercedes is loaded inside a ZIM container, which has fairly distinctive markings.

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Somebody on YouTube uploaded this photo-shopped image of a ZIM container living the high life in the Caribbean. I have no idea why. But this shot seemed apropos here.

As I watched on the Gatun Locks webcam Wednesday, as the Duesseldorf Express did its transit, I actually noticed a ZIM container loaded mid-ship (I guess mariners say “amidship”) on the starboard side of the main deck. I know the Duesseldorf Express has a capacity of 4,600+ TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units of containers), and spotting the container carrying my Mercedes is a long-shot, at best. But that was the only container that said ZIM on the side. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch a screen shot of if in the best location. But it can been seen in a stack of four rusty red 40-foot containers, right above the “d” in “Hapag-Lloyd”. It is one up from the bottom, third down from the top (right under the “5” in the 11:54:44 time stamp, you can see the white ZIM logo – I know it’s just a dot, really, in this shot).

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But I will believe this is the container in which my Mercedes is loaded – until someone can prove to me that it is not!

The Duesseldorf Express was scheduled to spend just a few hours in Cartagena, before setting out on a course to the port in Caucedo, in the Dominican Republic, before beginning its long, long journey across the Atlantic Ocean. The Caucedo port boasts a “working” webcam. So maybe I’ll get another glimpse of the ship, and my car, when it arrives in a couple of days.

Jerry Garrett

May 25, 2017




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