In recent years, maritime facilities from New York to Miami – including the Port of Charleston – have invested billions of dollars into deepening harbors, super-sizing cranes, and constructing taller bridges, to accommodate a much bigger class of container ships.
Ever since the Panama Canal’s expansion was completed more than a year ago, the neo-Panamax class of vessels are visiting more frequently at East Coast ports. For example, the Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant is hosting (approximately) one of those ships every week, and expects a second weekly visit by the end of 2017.
Recently, shipping lines have placed orders for even bigger container ships that can carry up to 22,000 cargo containers. Mediterranean Shipping Company has ordered 11 of the world’s largest container ships. CMA CGM also confirmed that it has an order for nine of the mega-vessels. The biggest container ship to visit the Port of Charleston to date has been the CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, with a capacity of 14,855 TEU.