Largest Container Ship To Visit The East Coast Arrives In Port Of New Jersey


  • The CMA CGM Marco Polo is the largest container ship to visit the east coast of the United States.
  • It can carry a total of 16,022 containers that ship goods such as furniture, food and clothing.
  • His arrival was made possible thanks to a project of 1.7 billion dollars to raise the roadway of the Bayonne bridge.
  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

A new record has just been set at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

CMA CGM Marco Polo arrived in New York Harbor Thursday morning after making a three-week voyage from China through the Suez Canal. It is the largest container ship to visit or call the east coast of the United States and was the largest in the world when it was built in 2013.

A total of 16,022 20-foot equivalent containers, also called TEUs, can fit on the ship, which is roughly the size of the Empire State Building. That many containers could cover 61 miles if placed in a straight line, almost the width of New Jersey.

Inside the containers are a variety of consumer goods, including housewares, furniture, and building materials, destined for U.S. customers. More than 10,000 shipping lines and customers are represented by the containers on the ship.

Arrival of CMA CGM Marco Polo

The CMA CGM Marco Polo arriving at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

While in the port, 5,000 TEUs will be unloaded onto a constant stream of trucks, then transported by road or rail to their final destination. Over 140 million people are served by the Port of New York and New Jersey, and even destinations as far as Chicago are two days away by train.

Once the unloading process is complete, new containers will be put on the ship for delivery to other ports of call as the Marco Polo continues her voyage around the world. Popular exports from the United States include cotton, forestry products, farm supplies, and food.

Prior to arriving in the United States, the vessel called in Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Canada as part of CMA CGM’s Columbus JAX service. The Port of Savannah in Georgia will be the last port of call before the long journey back to Asia.

A record pandemic

The Port of New York and New Jersey just celebrated a similar milestone in September when CMA CGM Brazil broke the record now broken by the Marco Polo.

Bigger mega-ships have only been able to access the largest port on the East Coast recently since 2019. The Bayonne Bridge, which connects Bayonne, New Jersey, to Staten Island, New York, is on the way between the port and huge freighters.

The New York and New Jersey Port Authority spent $ 1.7 billion to raise the causeway of the bridge and allow larger ships to pass underneath. Engineers also dredged the bottom of the Kill van Kull, using explosives to break up the bedrock below, to increase the depth of the harbor’s waterways to 50 feet.

Arrival of CMA CGM Marco Polo

The CMA CGM Marco Polo arriving at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Ships with a capacity of up to 18,000 TEU can now access the Port of New York and New Jersey, giving shipping companies another option to serve the United States. Some ships have chosen to call the port the East Coast instead of waiting in the backlog of ships outside the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, as Insider’s Brittany Chang saw firsthand. .

Read more: 22 companies profit from brutal traffic jams in America’s busiest ports

And the Bayonne bridge project ended not a moment too soon. A backlog of consumer goods like furniture has built up during the pandemic, and larger ships are needed to meet the new demand.

The Marco Polo is just one ship helping to reduce this backlog so that consumers can receive the long-awaited products they ordered during the pandemic e-commerce boom.

Read more: The untold story of how the furniture industry collapsed during the pandemic – and how smart gamers are rethinking it now

And while the arrival of the Marco Polo will be a monumental opportunity for the port, the ever-increasing demand for mega-ships will likely mean that an even larger vessel could break the record again in a matter of months.

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