On the evening of August 29, 2016, the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) welcomed the APL Yangshan, the largest container ship ever to call the Port of Charleston.
Jim Newsome, President and CEO of the SCPA, said: “The deployment of New Panamax vessels to the East Coast trade marks a new era. Today, 16 of Charleston’s 26 weekly calls are handled by vessels 5,000 TEU or larger, and we expect to handle our first 14,000 TEU vessel call later this year.
“As the deepest harbour in the Southeast, Charleston is well-prepared to provide the depth, as well as the capacity and infrastructure, necessary for efficiently handling big ships.”
The Yangshan, which measures 347 metres long and 45 metres wide, can transport up to 10,700 TEU. It is deployed on the China East Coast (CEC) weekly vessel service via the Suez Canal.
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The Yangshan’s milestone visit comes on the heels of the arrival of two new cranes last month, boosting big-ship handling capabilities at SCPA’s Wando Welch Terminal.
The cranes, which offer 47 metres of lift-height from the dock, are expected to be operational by December 2016. By December, 2017, two additional cranes of this height will be delivered to the Wando Terminal in conjunction with the completion of a $44 million project to modernise and strengthen the terminal wharf.
The Yangshan departed Charleston for a call in Norfolk before it transits to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Charleston will receive the next vessel of this size, the APL Barcelona, in early September.
Fact File: South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA), established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston, Georgetown and Greer. In 2015, SCPA handled international commerce valued at more than $74 billion while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy.