The 14,400 TEU capacity CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt became the largest container ship to call the port of New York and New Jersey when it arrived at the APM Terminals Elizabeth container terminal.
The ultra-large container ship also established a new record as the largest vessel to pass under the raised roadbed of the Bayonne Bridge, which now gives air draft clearance to vessels of up to 18,000 TEU capacity.
Until recently, container ships calling the Port of New York & New Jersey were mainly of the 5,000-8,000 TEU size class. The previous record for the largest vessel to call at APM Terminals Elizabeth was 9,600 TEUs.
A welcoming ceremony was held at the terminal hosted by APM Terminals included leaders from CMA CGM, the Port Authority of NY/NJ, elected officials, importers, exporters, ILA leaders and other industry executives.
APM Terminals Chief Commercial Officer Henrik Lundgaard Pedersen said “The ships of the future are here today and we want to recognize the Port of NY/NJ, CMA CGM and our APM Terminals Elizabeth team for bringing the future to the present. We are proud to play a central role in helping our customers keep pace with the changing needs of the shipping industry and investing in the port infrastructure essential to port productivity and the supply chains of the future.”
The CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt was invited by the Port Authority of NY/NJ to formally inaugurate the newly modified Bayonne Bridge as part of its maiden voyage to the US east coast. The $1.6 billion project, completed in June, raised the bridge roadbed by 64 feet (19.5 meters) to 215 feet (65.5 meters), enabling ultra-large container ships to call terminals on the Newark Bay on the New Jersey side of the port’s inner harbor.
The CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, launched on July 28th, in Yangshan, China, is undertaking a historic maiden voyage on the Ocean Alliance South Atlantic Express (SAX) service linking Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian and Hong Kong to Savannah, Charleston and Norfolk on the US East Coast. On August 22nd, it became the largest vessel, at 1,200 feet (366 meters) in length, and 158 feet (48 meters) wide, to transit the recently enlarged Panama Canal locks.
APM Terminals Elizabeth is being redesigned for the future with an extensive modernization project that will be completed in 2018. The 350-acre facility is in the midst of a $200 million infrastructure investment program that will equip APM Terminals Elizabeth with the capabilities required to remain on the forefront of the anticipated increase in ultra-large container ships into the global fleet and the US trade lanes.
Berth reconstruction and additional berths with dredging to 50 feet will create extra berth spaces to operate at least three upgraded ships alongside simultaneously. Four new gantry cranes with a 23 container reach will be added and a new, state-of-the-art truck gate complex will be constructed in previously unused terminal area, eliminating any construction zone impact to current operations.
Jeremy Ford, Head of Commercial for APM Terminals North America added “What will set this facility apart is that these capabilities we are building are being conceived not only with our steamship line customers in mind, but also with our landside customers in mind. APM Terminals Elizabeth will provide service and reliability in a manner that puts the needs of our various customers, including the landside customers in the beneficial cargo owner (BCO) and trucking communities, at the center of everything we do.”