Port goes bananas at size of cargo

Port manager Martin Putman by the Maersk Antwerp Trader, the largest cargo vessel to ever arrive in Portsmouth

Port manager Martin Putman by the Maersk Antwerp Trader, the largest cargo vessel to ever arrive in Portsmouth

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The largest cargo ship to have ever called at Portsmouth International Port arrived this week.

The Maersk Antwerp Trader is 211 metres long and arrived from Colombia with a cargo of bananas on Wednesday.

The arrival of the container ship marked a change in business for MMD Ltd, the port-owned fruit import specialists. Previously cargo on the route from central America had been carried on traditional reefer vessels, but now Fyffes is using larger ships with all the bananas being kept in containers.

Staff at MMD unloaded the hundreds of containers full of fruit when the vessel arrived.

It was the first of a new weekly service operated by Maersk Line, the world’s largest shipping company.

Port manager Martin Putman was waiting to greet the vessel when it arrived and said: ‘This is an important milestone for Portsmouth International Port.

‘Not only does it show how necessary recent investment has been, making the port safer for bigger vessels, but it also demonstrates our ability to be flexible in a dynamic market, delivering the changes that our customers require. The port is moving with the times and cruising into the container age.’

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