World's biggest container ship berths

IT is not every day the world's biggest container ship sails into Suffolk waters.So when news spread of MV Cosco Ningbo's maiden arrival at the Port of Felixstowe, there was only one place Brian Dodgson, Anthony Vine, Phil Capon and Peter Creasy wanted to be.

IT is not every day the world's biggest container ship sails into Suffolk waters.

So when news spread of MV Cosco Ningbo's maiden arrival at the Port of Felixstowe, there was only one place Brian Dodgson, Anthony Vine, Phil Capon and Peter Creasy wanted to be.

But unlike most other onlookers who gathered at Landguard Fort yesterday, it came as no surprise to them that the giant vessel had docked in Suffolk.

For the past couple of weeks, Mr Dodgson had been monitoring its progress as it journeyed around the world, ahead of its trek across the North Sea to Felixstowe.


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Along with friends, he makes regular trips to the car park to watch the various ships pass to and from the busiest port in country.

Mr Dodgson, who lives in Felixstowe, said: “We come down here once a week.

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“I knew about this container ship because I've been tracking it on the internet for a couple of weeks. I looked it up and got a photograph of it being christened.

“I had heard it was coming to Suffolk and wanted to come down and see it. It would be nice to see it going back but that's not happening until late.”

Although Mr Dodgson and co. did not make a special trip to see the ship's arrival, just before midnight on Wednesday, they were not going to make the same mistake made by others.

When they did arrive yesterday, at about 9.30am, they knew exactly what they were looking for.

With a wry smile, Anthony Vine, of Trimley St Mary, said: “A lot of people came down here last night and were a bit annoyed because they took photographs of some ship and it turned out to be the wrong one.

“But you can't see it very well anyway. It doesn't look any bigger than the other ships.”

Although the Port of Felixstowe has proclaimed its latest visitor the largest of its type in the world, there was doubt among some of the onlookers about the credibility of the claim.

Adrian Wigg, of Ipswich, said: “It's just another container ship to us. It's the biggest one that has been in the port but I don't think it's the biggest in the world.

“If you go on to the internet you'll find there are bigger ones.”

Brian Hall, of Trimley St Martin, was even less certain about the claim.

He said: “I don't think it's the biggest and I'm still not 100% certain it's the biggest one that's been at the port. I wanted to come down and see it though.”

While the regular ship watchers took up usual positions, curiosity among other people who had also heard about the arrival swelled the crowd of onlookers.

Business certainly seemed brisk at the burger van, with piping hot cups of tea proving particularly popular.

Lisa Turner, 27, decided to bring her two-year-old daughter, Kaitlin, to witness the visit at first hand.

She said: “My sister told me about it yesterday so I thought we'd come down. My little one likes it so I thought we would.

“It doesn't look as big as I expected it to though. I was expecting to see an enormous ship. I don't know why there are so many people here.”

MV Cosco Ningbo's vital statistics

At 350 metres long, MV Cosco Ningbo is the length of three Portman Road football pitches. It is also 42.8 metres wide and has a gross tonnage of 109,149.

It is currently on its maiden voyage around the world, after setting off from Asia on March 22. She was due to depart late last night.

It is carrying various goods, including clothing and textiles from the Far East.

The Port of Felixstowe claims it is the biggest container vessel of its kind in the world.

The previous holder of the record, the 9,200 TEU MSC Pamela, is a regular caller at Felixstowe, having made her maiden call at the port in August 2005.

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