The largest container ship ever to visit a South African port docked in Durban's harbour on Thursday morning after being welcomed by a flotilla of yachts and showered with sea spray by two tugs.
The Mediterranean Shipping Company's MSC Sola weighs in at 131,771 tons and is three-and-a-half rugby fields long. It is capable of carrying 11,660 standard containers when fully-laden.
The ship is expected to call at the Ngqura Container Terminal in the Eastern Cape next Tuesday.
Prior to the completion of Transnet's R300 million project in 2010 to widen and deepen the entrance to Durban's harbour, MSC Sola would have been unable to enter, as the harbour entrance was dredged only to a depth of 12.8m.