Categories: Associated British Ports, News, SouthamptonPublished On: 30.04.2024460 words2.4 min read

The Port of Southampton welcomes two of the largest container vessels simultaneously

For the first time, the Port of Southampton welcomes two of the World’s largest container vessels simultaneously. The Port’s highly skilled Marine Pilots successfully manoeuvred two ultra-large container vessels into the terminal at DP World.


Associated British Ports (ABP) has invested in widening the channel within the Western Docks, whichhas not only allowed the largest container vessels to pass the biggest cruise ships berthed in the Portbut also enabled ABP Marine Pilots to manoeuvre ultra-large vessels to other berths in DP World’s container terminal.

This challenging task, previously reserved only for the SCT 5 berth, required precise coordination and collaboration, demonstrating the Port’s commitment to stakeholder satisfaction and its ability to support more ultra-large vessels in the Port.

The ABP Southampton Marine Department, comprising the Harbour Master, Pilots, VTS, Marine Planning and Hydrography, played a pivotal role in the successful berthing of an ultra-large vessel at Southampton DP World’s SCT 2/3 berth.

Steve Masters, Southampton Harbour Master said: “The team’s deep knowledge, experience and dedication ensured this operation was completed safely and efficiently. After establishing parameters, the Pilots and tug crews underwent rigorous training and simulation exercises to familiarise themselves with the manoeuvring intricacies of the CAT 7 Vessels. Their commitment to mastering every aspect of the operation ensured a smooth and safe berthing process for MV Manilla Express.”

Captains Noel Charlton and Chris Hoyle, entrusted with the Act of Pilotage for the “Manila Express,” reflected on the journey leading to this historic moment.

They said, “This is a significant achievement at the Port to ensure it can welcome two of the largest container vessels at the same time. We both worked closely with the vessel’s Captain and crew; none of this would have been achievable without the collective efforts of all the specialist Pilots, tug crews, and stakeholders involved in the ground-breaking endeavour.”

This achievement showcases Southampton’s capabilities as a premier maritime hub and sets a new standard for excellence in port operations.

The Port of Southampton is home to the UK’s second largest container port, and its unique double tide means the Port has 17 hours of high tides and offers flexibility in arrival and departure times.

For more information please contact:

Nicola Denbigh

Corporate Affairs Manager


Tim Morris

Head of Corporate Communications

Mob: 07771 888105
Email: [email protected]
Mob: 07850 501 903
Email: [email protected]



Notes to editors:

About ABP Southampton​

  • UK’s number one port for exports, handling £40 billion of UK exports every year
  • ​Contributes £2.5 billion to the UK economy every year
  • Supports 45,600 jobs nationally
  • UK’s number one cruise port welcoming 2.75 million passengers each year
  • Handles on average 14 million tonnes of commodities each year
Video content links:
  Introduction to ABP Southampton