The UK’s newest container berth, the 500 metre, £100 million quay at DP World Southampton (DPWS) has handled its first vessel, Hyundai Tenacity.

Southampton’s ability to cater for the largest container ships afloat is being further boosted by an ongoing dredging programme designed to deepen the main approach channel giving greater access and flexibility all year round.

The newberth is designed to handle the largest and deepest vessels in the world including the new 18,000 container unit ships, which are currently coming into service.

Equipped with four new Liebherr cranes capable of reaching across ships 24 containers wide, the new quay also has a fifth crane, which has been relocated from elsewhere in the terminal, to ensure the new berth has the capability to turn ships around quickly and efficiently.

While the new berth has a depth alongside of 16 metres, it can be deepened to 17 metres to cater for any future growth in vessel size.

Associated British Ports (ABP), as the port owner and harbour authority, will have invested a total of £100 million in the construction of the new berth, cranes and main channel dredge to ensure that Southampton remains at the forefront of the container industry in the UK.

Chris Lewis, managing director at DP World Southampton, said: “This is a historic moment and represents the culmination of years of hard work by ABP and DPWS project teams and millions of pounds of investment.”

The new berth will be officially open by the end of the month.