Largest container ship to ever dock on East Coast arrives in Port Elizabeth

The largest container ship to ever dock on the East Coast made its grand arrival Thursday morning.

SkyFox was over the CMA CGM Marco Polo container ship as it entered NY Harbor at about 7 a.m. The ship docked a few hours later at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal in New Jersey where it will remain for several days.

According to the company that owns the ship, it has a length of 1,300 feet and is longer than the height of the Empire State Building. The entire ship spans about five Manhattan city blocks or 176 feet. The vessel has a maximum capacity of 16,022 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).

The ship traveled from southeast Asia through the Suez Canal. It was the first of its size to make it into the region due to the raising of the roadway of the Bayonne Bridge to a navigational clearance of 215 feet and continued deepening of the navigational channels to 50 feet. The increase allows larger and newer cargo vessels to serve the seaport’s container terminals in New Jersey and Staten Island.

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"The CMA CGM MARCO POLO’s arrival at our seaport underscores the Port of New York and New Jersey’s ability to serve the ultra-large cargo container ships that increasingly carry the food, supplies and goods needed to sustain millions of residents, support thousands of jobs and keep businesses open," said Rick Cotton, executive director of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

 "The Port Authority’s infrastructure improvements such as the raising of the Bayonne Bridge and the deepening of the navigational channel serving our seaport have made possible this historic moment. These infrastructure improvements also have helped generate record cargo volumes and enabled our supply lines to remain extraordinarily robust during the pandemic."