On the heels of record-breaking container volumes in March and April, South Carolina Ports Authority yesterday celebrated another milestone with the arrival of the biggest container ship ever to call the US East Coast.
“The deployment of 13,000 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) vessels to East Coast ports marks a new era in the global container shipping industry,” said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome.
“The importance of our port and state’s investments in terminal and infrastructure improvements, additional capacity for volume growth and a deeper harbor are evident with the arrival of the COSCO Development. It is a truly exciting day to see our new super post-Panamax cranes working a ship of this size, and we are proud to be the last Southeast port of call.”
The COSCO Development, a 1,200 feet long and 158 feet wide vessel transporting up to 13,092 TEUs, is deployed on the weekly OCEAN Alliance South Atlantic Express (SAX) service connecting Charleston with Hong Kong, Yantian, Ningbo and Shanghai via the Panama Canal.
Further supporting the port’s ability to handle 13,000-14,000 TEU vessels are the Charleston Harbor Deepening project to 52 feet, scheduled to begin this fall; the completion of a wharf strengthening project at the Wando Welch Terminal in conjunction with investments in bigger cranes; and the construction of the Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr. Terminal, SCPA said in its announcement.