A new container ship, APL Southampton – the first vessel in her class – is due to arrive in the port after which she is named tomorrow (Wednesday).

APL Southampton, making her maiden call, is the second container vessel in service to carry the city’s name and is the company’s largest, as well as most environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient, ship.

The vessel is fitted with a ballast water treatment system and electronically-controlled main engine, signalling a new era of sustainable ships for APL’s fleet.

Ships carry ballast water to ensure stability and reduce stresses on the hull.

However, problems can arise when the discharge of ballast water from vessels transfers organisms between different marine ecosystems, threatening ecological balance and global biodiversity.

Large enough to accommodate up to 10,700 container units, APL Southampton is on her initial voyage after being handed over by Korean shipbuilder Daewoo shipping & Marine Engineering.

To mark the ship’s visit to Southampton a commemorative plaque will be presented by the city’s mayor, Councillor Derek Burke, to the captain.

The ship is operated by APL, part of the G6 shipping alliance.

APL Southampton’s arrival in the city comes as the company has been awarded the environment Protection Award for the second time in two years.

It follows APL’s announcement it was on course to reduce a key carbon exhaust measure by 30 per cent by 2015 from its global shipping operations.