Before PortMiami underwent a widening and dredging of its shipping channel, from 44 feet to a depth of 50-52 feet, a vessel like the Maersk Shanghai would not have been able to dock in Miami. The Miami port undertook its expansion project to accommodate bigger ships – like the 1,063-foot-long, 159-foot-wide Maersk Shanghai, that travel through the Suez Canal and the expanded Panama Canal.
Its arrival is a milestone for PortMiami as it also makes history by being the largest cargo container ship ever to visit a Florida port. Bigger ships represent the movement of more goods in and out of the port, which translates to growth and prosperity for our economy.- Miami-Dade Mayor
Other East Coast ports are racing to finish improvements and begin dredging projects so they also can accommodate fully-laden megaships too. Port Everglades recently received approval to invest $41.4 million for three Super-Post-Panamax gantry cranes, capable of loading/unloading cargo from the wider and taller ship vessels.