The Port of Philadelphia has welcomed its first neo-Panamax shipping vessel, after The MSC Sophia Celeste made its first call on August 3, 2016.
The Mediterranean ship has a capacity of 8,819 TEU, 1,462 refrigerated for perishable cargo, and it is the largest ship to ever call at the port..
The vessel is the first to trade on the new South America West Coast-US-North West Continent service line, which travels between Chile, Peru and the Bahamas, and then onto Philadelphia and the Port of Rotterdam.
David Whene, President of Greenwich Terminals LLC, operator of the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, said: “This new service comes as a direct result of the opening of the Panama Canal Expansion.
“Coupled with the near completion of the Delaware River Deepening Project, the Port of Philadelphia is poised to capitalise on this new service line as the only direct US East Coast port of call between the west coast of South America and Europe.”
Gerard Sweeney, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) Chairman, said: “With many major improvement projects on the horizon and now this record-size vessel calling the port, so much is occurring to help us assure that the Port of Philadelphia fulfils its vast potential.”
Sweeney concluded: “We commend our partners at Holt Logistics and the ILA for their expert handling of the Sofia Celeste, which, in addition to its record-size cargo, also inaugurates a reinvigorated Northern European service at the Port.”
Only two days prior to the MSC Sophia Celeste’s arrival at Philadelphia, the Transpacific-US East Coast trade lane welcomed The Saturn and its sisters, the first Hyundai neo-Panamax vessels to be deployed there.