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Portico, the international shipping experts based at Portsmouth International Port, have welcomed the longest container vessel that they have handled to date on one of their deep water quays.

The MV Cap Roca, loaded mostly with reefer containers of bananas and other fresh produce, is an impressive 225 metres long – more than double the length of a football pitch. The vessel, which has recently been added to Maersk’s regular Colombian Express Service, left Colombia on 11th May, sailing direct to Portsmouth. It will then continue on to Antwerp & Hamburg, before making the return journey back to South America.

From left to right: Port director, Mike Sellers; Captain of the MV Cap Roca, Przemyslaw Dominiak; and Operations Planning Manager at Portico, David Pennery.

Steve Williams, Portico’s operations director said: “The arrival of the MV Cap Roca demonstrates that we are securing our position as the south coast’s leading fresh produce port.

“The business is going from strength to strength with diversification into other areas of cargo, however handling fresh produce will always remain at the heart of what we do. Our customers can be confident that we will provide a reliable, professional service for them because of our many years of experience in the industry”

Mike Sellers, port director at Portsmouth International Port added: “Portsmouth is the UK’s most successful council-run port, and is recognised by the DfT as a major port. Attracting ships of this size to Portico is an integral part of ensuring that this success story continues”.

Portico recently secured £15m of investment to allow them to fully optimise their site, which will increase their capacity and allow them to handle more ships like MV Cap Roca in future. Plans include relocating the head office to a prominent location, improving access for customers and staff and freeing up a further 11,000 m2 of quayside storage for project cargo or up to 1,600 TEU’s of containers. It will also allow significant restructuring of the site layout using automation to manage hauliers effectively and improved quayside space for handling cargo.