A QUICK trip to Timaru by the ship Rio de Janeiro (IMO 9357963) made it the largest ship to visit the harbour in the New Zealand South Island.

The Rio de Janeiro, which docked at Timaru about 11pm Sunday (local time) and left the following morning, is 287 metres long and 40 metres in beam.

A decent size, albeit it could fit comfortably into major Australian container ports.

PrimePort (the entity which manages Timaru) chief executive Phil Melhopt was quoted in the local media as saying the Rio’s berthing was a significant step in an approval process for bigger ships.

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Rio de Janeiro is flagged in Singapore and was launched in 2008. It has a listed dead weight tonnage of 80398.

At the time of publishing, it was sailing off Invercargill near the bottom of the South Island.

Timaru is a multi-purpose port, able to handle bulk, breakbulk, containers and liquid trades as well as catering for the commercial fishing sector.

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