It’s bananas. The largest container ship ever to dock in Ireland will arrive at the deepwater quay in Ringaskiddy today carrying a massive consignment of fruit.
The ship, MV Northern Dedication, will have 75 containers onboard, basically carrying what is being dubbed as ‘Ireland’s fruit intake for a week’.
At 230m long and weighing in at a whopping 42,121 tonnes (deadweight) it will be off-loading nearly 6m bananas, plus large amounts of pineapples and melons.
The ship is bringing in the produce from Central America and despite her size will be unloaded within six to eight hours, which highlights the port’s cargo handling prowess.
Vessels of this size are common around the globe nowadays and as the Port of Cork begins its expansion phase in Ringaskiddy, it is anticipated that more of these leviathans will become regular visitors to the port.
The port’s commercial manager Captain Michael McCarthy said there were very few restrictions at the Ringaskiddy deepwater berth, so when it came to handling a vessel of this size, the port was more than capable.
“In the future we would hope to see more of these size vessels calling, as our port expands to meet the needs of our own customers and the needs of the global shipping community,” said Capt McCarthy.
Service from Central America to Cork commenced in 2013 and to date it has proven very successful — although the fruit never arrived in a ship of this size before.
“Bringing mainly Fyffes bananas to Ireland from South America, this service is vitally important for the domestic grocery industry,” he explained.
Last year the port handled more than 205,000 containers.
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