Giant cargo ship docks in Sunderland

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THE LARGEST cargo ship ever to arrive in Port of Sunderland has berthed in Wearside waters.

ER Bristol arrived in the port’s docks this week.

It is the largest cargo-handling ship the port has seen to date, with a capacity of 56,000 tonnes.

The ship docked at the port Sunday afternoon [June 22], after travelling for two weeks from Mariupol, Ukraine.

An impressive 188m long, the ship has attracted attention from ship-spotters in the few days it has been stationed at the port, and is the latest in a long line of major vessels to arrive at the port, which has experienced a surge in business over the last two years.

Matthew Hunt, port director, said: “We have the space and facilities to accommodate large ships like the ER Bristol, so it’s fantastic to see them docking here with us. Sunderland is increasingly becoming the primary port of call for vessels right around Europe, thanks to our accessibility and flexible approach. It’s really exciting for us to be attracting vessels of this scale.”

The port has enjoyed a purple patch since the launch of the Sunderland Economic Masterplan in 2010, which identified it as an asset that needed to be exploited. Since then, the port has significantly increased its capabilities, with investment in handling equipment, and freed up swathes of space that is ripe for investment.

Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council and chair of the port board, said: “Port of Sunderland has a great deal to offer and the vessels we are starting to see flow into our waters really is testament to the work the team at the port are doing to put the area on the map.

“These larger vessels are a very visible sign of the increase in business secured at the port, and it’s really pleasing to know that word is out about all that we have to offer.”

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