Friday Focus: CMA CGM Breaks Bayonne Bridge Record


The 14,400 TEU capacity CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt is now the largest container ship to call the port of New York and New Jersey after arriving at the APM Terminals Elizabeth container terminal.

CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt also set a record as the largest vessel to pass under the raised roadbed of the Bayonne Bridge, but it won’t be the last, as the converted structure gives air draft clearance to vessels of up to 18,000 TEU capacity.

Until the completion of the $1.6 billion project to raise the bridge roadbed by 64 feet to 215 feet in June, container ships calling the Port of New York & New Jersey were of the 5,000-8,000 TEU size class.

The last largest vessel to call at APM Terminals Elizabeth coming in at 9,600 TEUs, but this is now a thing of the past as ultra-large container ships can now call terminals on the Newark Bay on the New Jersey side of the port’s inner harbor.

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.


APM Terminals held a welcoming ceremony with leaders from CMA CGM, the Port Authority of NY/NJ, elected officials, importers, exporters, ILA leaders and other industry executives


Read a technical paper by CMA CGM on what it has to offer to the maritime industry in 'CMA CGM: A 21st Century Shipping Line'

Henrik Lundgaard Pedersen, APM Terminals Chief Commercial Officer, 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, launched on July 28, 2017, 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 22, 2017, 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 aims to complete an extensive $200 million modernization project in 2018 that will ensure the 350-acre facility has the capabilities to accommodate an increase in ultra-large container ships into the global fleet and the US trade lanes.

The terminal plans to add more berths and reconstruct them with dredging to 50 feet to create extra space to manage at least three upgraded ships simultaneously. 

It also plans to add four new gantry cranes with a 23-container reach, with construction starting on a new truck gate complex in a previously unused terminal area to end any impact to current operations.

Jeremy Ford, Head of Commercial for APM Terminals North America, said: “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.” 

Read more: Two Chinese shipyards that were reported to have won CMA CGM’s order for nine 22,000 TEU vessels have confirmed that they’ve received a letter of intent

CMA CGM is taking part in the first ever New York Shipping Exchange

CMA CGM recently released footage of a towing exercise involving its 16,020 TEU Marco Polo containership

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