Four-time Olympic gold sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie, has officially opened the latest berth at the Port of Southampton.
In an event that drew in around 300 visitors and industry officials, Sir. Ainslie gave the order for one of the terminal’s straddle carriers to pick up and load a golden container onto one of the world’s largest vessels, the CMA CGM Marco Polo.
The new 500-metre long quay, titled ‘SCT5’ cost £100 million to complete and is perfectly adapted to handle 18,000 TEU post-Panamax size vessels.
Four new Liebherr super post-Panamax cranes dot the length of the new berth, capable of reaching across ships 24-containers wide.
A final fifth crane has been re-located to a different area of the terminal in order to ensure the fastest turn around times possible.
While the new berth has a depth of 16-metres, dredging allowances mean that SCT5 can be deepened by a further metre, increasing the depth to 17-metres to accommodate future growth.
James Cooper, chief executive of associated British ports, who funded the project, said: “It is fitting that a Hampshire hero, a local boy who has made the entire world sit up and take notice with his performances on the water, should be the one to open our facility.”
“The Port of Southampton supports some 14,730 jobs and contributes around £1 billion to the economy every year. This new quay is vital to safeguard and allow us to grow the business.”
Earlier in the month, the 13,082 TEU Hyundai Tenacity became the first vessel to call at the dock, on route from Le Havre to Hamburg.