The Port of Sunderland has welcomed one of the biggest commercial vessels in its history. At almost 162m by 28m, the 30,166dwt Japanese multipurpose carrier Kurobe docked at Corporation Quay to deliver a 3,000-tonne press system for city car parts firm Unipres after travelling from Japan via the Panama Caal and Antwerp.

City council leader Coun Paul Watson, also chairman of the Port of Sunderland, welcomed the arrival as ‘fantastic’ for the city, adding “we are proving that we have the capability, set-up and service ethic to attract a whole variety of cargo types, such as this automotive-sector-related project cargo shipment to Port of Sunderland.The volume of the business we are seeing is testament to that.’

Agent GP Shipping oversaw the vessel’s stay in the North East, helping the port with the logistics of her arrival and departure from the Corporation Quay berth. Two of the ship’s 100-tonne cranes, as well as shoreside hydraulic lifting equipment, were used to unload the press, which will be fully installed and operational by the end of 2012. The press will be used to manufacture steel components for Nissan and Honda vehicles.