The largest container ship hits the east coast as the number of ports increases rapidly


Bayonne, NJ (AP) — Thursday morning, the sun shines from the Manhattan skyline, and a giant ship slowly passes under the Bayonne Bridge, grabbing about 20 spectators on the deck of a hundred-foot bridge. I was pleased. up.

Even by sea carrier standards, the CMA CGM Marco Polo is huge. The three and a half football arenas are long and stand up to about the same height as the Eiffel Tower. Over 16,000 totes are possible 20-Containers as long as a tractor trailer carry one at a time.

This is the largest container ship ever called on the East Coast and will be visiting New Jersey this week. Norfolk, Virginia; Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina, as COVID-19 restrictions continue to be relaxed, the exponential volume processed at ports across the country and the port system to accommodate these large vessels Emphasizes both the billions of dollars spent by.

Volume of containers at U.S. ports was delayed a year ago during a pandemic due to a slowdown in manufacturing, but demand for goods was demanded as the travel and leisure dollars shifted to home renovation projects and online purchases. It remained pretty strong.

Since then, the volume has returned steadily. Since August last year, the monthly container volume of the 10 busiest ports in the United States has exceeded 2019 levels, according to statistics compiled by the US Department of Transportation. Los Angeles, the only US port that is busier than New Jersey / New York, has recently celebrated its 114-year history of April, the ninth consecutive month of year-on-year growth.

Los Angeles was able to accommodate a ship capable of carrying as many as 23,000 containers, but four years ago, a Marco Polo-sized ship would have bypassed the ports of New Jersey and New York. New Jersey and Staten Island were too low, and the waterways of the port system were too shallow.

New Jersey / New York and other East Coast ports have scrambled for capital as the Panama Canal has expanded over the last decade to allow large vessels to pass through.

Port Authority in New York and New Jersey has spent nearly $ 2 billion to raise the bridge 64 feet. This is a feat that required the existing road to be maintained until a higher road was built on it. Another project of about the same amount deepened the New York Harbor waterway.

The country’s fourth busiest savanna port is in the final stages of a six-year, approximately $ 1 billion project to deepen shipping channels. Authorities expect to process 5 million containers this year, ending June 30, just four years after the port first exceeded 4 million.

John Nardi, chairman of the New York Shipping Association, which represents shipping companies and port terminal operators, said the surge in volume poses its own challenges.

At ports in New Jersey and New York, container volumes in March increased 37% from March 2020, and a recent long-term survey by the Port Authority said the projected volume in 2026 had already been hit this year. Said. This has significantly increased the time spent in the terminal after the container has been unloaded.

“Everyone, from truckers to warehousing, terminals and sea carriers, is operating at maximum capacity. The entire supply chain is backed up,” said Nardi.

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