PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — The largest container ship ever to call on the East Coast has stopped in Virginia and is now headed for South Carolina and Georgia.
The Port of Virginia said in a news release that the CMA CGM Marco Polo arrived in Portsmouth on Sunday and left on Monday afternoon.
The ship is a behemoth. It’s three-and-a-half football fields long. It would be roughly the height of the Eiffel Tower if it was stood on its end.
The vessel can tote enough cargo to fit in more than 16,000 20-foot-long containers.
The ship’s arrival underscores the surging volume handled by ports as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease. It also reflects the billions of dollars spent by ports to accommodate these larger ships.
To recognize this historic event, CMA CGM teams, guests, Virginia’s secretary of transportation, elected officials and port partners gathered on the American Rover sailboat and cruised by the vessel as it was working. The port’s leaders said they used the event to emphasize two important points, the value of its $800 million investment to modernize its two primary container terminals and the importance of the channel widening and deepening project, which when complete in 2024, will make Virginia home to the US East Coast’s deepest port.