The largest ever container ship to visit an Irish port will dock in Cork Harbour on Friday with a consignment over 5 million bananas from Central America.
The Liberian registered MV Northern Dedication has an overall length of some 230 metres - over twice the length of the pitch at the Aviva Stadium - and weighs 42,121 tonnes.
Port of Cork Commercial Manager, Captain Michael McCarthy said the ship is carrying over 75 containers of fresh fruit with each container carrying over 100,000 bananas.
“As well as bananas, the ship is also carrying melons and pineapples and we expect she will discharge her entire cargo in six to eight hours, highlighting Cork’s capability as a Tier 1 Port,” he said.
Cork is one of three ports, along with Dublin and Foynes in Co Limerick, that have been classified as Tier 1 Ports or Ports of National Significance under the National Ports Policy 2013.
Capt McCarthy said that as the Port of Cork begins its expansion of its facilities at Ringaskiddy, large vessels such as the MV Northern Dedication will become regular visitors.
"There are very little restrictions at Ringaskiddy Deepwater Berth, so when it comes to handling a vessel of this size, the port is more than capable of accommodating them," he said
“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.”
Last year, total container volumes through both Tivoli and Ringaskiddy Container Terminals in Cork grew by 8 per cent compared to 2014 with over 205,000 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) handled, he said. (TEU is used to measure a ship's cargo capacity based on how many standard 20ft containers it can carry).