Port Special Delivery: One Ship, Extra-Extra Large

By Amanda Kwan, Media Relations Staff

It wasn’t your imagination.

An ultra-large container ship wider than a football field and the length of more than four New York City blocks cruised into New York Harbor on the afternoon of September 12 and into Port maritime history, becoming the largest vessel to call at the Port of New York and New Jersey and any U.S. East Coast port.

The CMA CGM Brazil, with a maximum capacity of 15,072 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), called on the APM Terminal at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal on Saturday evening with goods such as fall/winter clothing, pharmaceuticals and furniture bound for retailers in the bistate region and beyond.

Port Director Sam Ruda welcomed the ship at Berth 92 with a plaque commemorating the occasion for CMA CGM America executives Tom Aldridge and Kurt Mittenzwei and its captain, Biser Nikolaev Draganov. Ruda also thanked the International Longshoremen’s Association for its dedication and continued service in keeping the regional supply chain fluid at the Port throughout the pandemic.

“We have all arrived at this historical moment together, thanks to continued and dedicated investments to our infrastructure, our partnership with APM Terminals and the CMA CGM Group, and the waterfront workforce who keep the region supplied with all the critical goods that keep us fed, clean and healthy,” Ruda said. “In the midst of the global pandemic, this moment shows the importance of the Port and supply chain to our regional economy.”

The ship’s arrival showcases the Port’s ability to handle the world’s largest container ships, a result of recent Port Authority investments such as the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program and the Harbor Deepening Program. The Bayonne Bridge project increased its vertical clearance to 215 feet, while the dredging project deepened the shipping channels to 50 feet.

Combined, the improvements along with significant additional investments by all of the Port’s terminal operators allow the Port of New York and New Jersey to welcome the next generation of ultra-large container vessels, which use newer and more environmentally friendly technology, have more sustainable designs, and help reduce emissions by carrying more containers with fewer vessels. The CMA CGM Brazil — 167 feet wide and 1,200 feet long — was built in 2020.

The ship arrived in North America from southeast Asia via the Suez Canal and departed this morning for Norfolk, VA. During its visit, more than 2,600 containers of goods were unloaded for delivery to regional retailers by truck or freight rail and nearly the same amount of exports loaded back on.

For additional photos of the CMA CGM Brazil at the Port of New York and New Jersey: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmQJX6e7

For video footage of the CMA CGM Brazil traveling under the Bayonne Bridge: https://youtu.be/uTs17bVvixw

Photos courtesy of the Port Authority and CMA CGM Group
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