Leaders with the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) recently welcomed the biggest container ship that has ever docked at the Port of Charleston.
The ship, the APL Yangshan, is 1,140 feet long and 148 feet wide. It can carry up to 10,700 20-foot equivalent units (TEU). The China East Coast (CEC) weekly vessel service came to the SCPA through the Suez Canal.
This is a significant milestone for SCPA. Last month, the SCPA reached another milestone after two new cranes arrived. With these cranes, the big-ship handling capabilities at Wando Welch Terminal increased; the new cranes can lift 155 feet from the dock and will be in full operation this winter.
The SCPA expects two more cranes with the same height to arrive at the Wando Terminal by December 2017. This timing will coincide with the terminal wharf’s new modernizing and strengthening project being complete, amounting to $44 million worth of updates.
“The deployment of New Panamax vessels to the East Coast trade marks a new era,” Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO, said. “Today 16 of Charleston’s 26 weekly calls are handled by vessels 5,000 TEUs or larger, and we expect to handle our first 14,000 TEU vessel call later this year. As the deepest harbor in the Southeast, Charleston is well-prepared to provide the depth as well as the capacity and infrastructure necessary for efficiently handling big ships.”