Largest container ship to visit U.S. east coast arrives in Charleston

Largest container ship to visit U.S. east coast arrives in Charleston
The Brazil is the largest container ship ever to serve the U.S. East Coast, with a capacity of more than 15,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units. (Source: Georgia Ports Authority)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The largest ship to ever visit the U.S. east coast is in Charleston.

It arrived at the Wando Welch Terminal on Sunday morning.

The Ports Authority created a graphic showing the ship. It is 1,200 feet long, which is longer than two Washington monuments. It’s also the length of four football fields.

Officials with the South Carolina Ports Authority announced that the CMA CGM Brazil is expected to sail into the Charleston Harbor on Sept. 20.
Officials with the South Carolina Ports Authority announced that the CMA CGM Brazil is expected to sail into the Charleston Harbor on Sept. 20. (Source: SC Ports Authority)

The President and CEO of the Ports Authority, Jim Newsome, says the ship traveled from Malaysia and went by the Suez Canal, a waterway in Egypt. Some of the other stops will include Vietnam and China.

“Big ships mean lower costs for transportation and that’s the future of the shipping industry,” Newsome said.

Newsome says this ship is scheduled to return to Charleston in about 84 days.

It’s carrying various commodities including general department store and retail goods in addition to hardware, tools and more.

He says the ship came here because they can handle it. Newsome says there are about four ports on the U.S. East Coast that have the capacity for a ship of this size.

The Chief Operating Officer for the South Carolina Ports Authority Barbara Melvin says it’s an exciting day.

“We’ve bought taller cranes, fortified our wharfs, improved our yard equipment, depended our harbor," Melvin said. "All of these things are what allowed us to bring this ship in successfully today.”

Port officials say the ship is scheduled to leave the area Monday afternoon.

The container ship, which was built this year, departed from Sri Lanka and is on its way to Halifax, California.

The Ports Authority is tracking the ship as it makes it way to, and from, The Holy City. You can follow its progress here.

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