The 2020-built ship arrived at the port of New York & New Jersey on September 12, docking at APM Terminals at the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal. The vessel was delivered to CMA CGM in May 2020 by Hyundai Smaho Heavy Industries. “They are telling us, very clearly, they will be introducing bigger ships into their services that are going to require 55-foot channel depths and that we must be able to handle multiple big ships and process increasing cargo volumes simultaneously. CMA CGM said the deployment of the ship comes as a sign of support to the economic recovery of the U.S. economy from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CMA CGM Brazil was brought alongside the berth at VIG and during the course of her 24-hour stay in Virginia; multiple labor shifts handled nearly 3,300 containers of exports and imports combined. The port is dredging the harbor to 55 feet deep and widening the channels; when the work is complete in 2024, Virginia will hold the title of deepest port on the U.S. East Coast. The vessel eclipses the old record by more than 700 units. Today we made history as CMA CGM Brazil, the largest vessel to call to The Port of Virginia, the east coast, and Canada arrived at our Virginia International Gateway. We presented a plaque to its captain, crew, and representatives from @cmacgm pic.twitter.com/sdaqNGVkyK— The Port of Virginia (@PortofVirginia) September 15, 2020 “Our port partners on the East Coast played a crucial role in making this feat possible by implementing the necessary and timely infrastructure improvements needed to accommodate these larger ships. Improvements without which this milestone would not have been possible,” the liner added. CMA CGM Brazil, a 15,072 TEU containership owned by the French container shipping major CMA CGM, is making milestones as the largest vessel to call at the East Coast of the United States. The port said the landmark arrival of the CMA CGM Brazil showcases the port’s ability to handle the world’s largest containerships, an outcome of key investments over the past few years. “We invested $800 million over the last two-and-a-half years to expand and modernize our terminals in order to handle ships of this size,” said John. F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. The port said the visit of the CMA CGM Brazil, the vessels in its size class, and even bigger ships highlight the importance of the deepening and widening of the Norfolk Harbor and its commercial channels, which are currently 50 feet deep. These have included improvements such as the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program, which increased the air draft of the bridge to 215 feet. The 366-meter long, equivalent to eight Statues of Liberty, and 51-meter wide vessel is currently deployed on the weekly Columbus JAX service. The service connects the U.S. East Coast to Southeast Asia via the Suez Canal. Other projects such as the Harbor Deepening Program, which created a 50-foot deep shipping channel, have also made it possible for the port to accommodate ULCVs. “We have that capacity above-the-waterline – in our terminals — and now we are working below-the-waterline. By the end of 2024, we will have spent nearly $1.5 billion to meet the needs of our customers and preparing The Port of Virginia for the future. Deeper, wider channels equate to safety, efficiency, and growth.” “We are talking to several ocean carriers about even bigger vessels, so this will be a good test for us. The ocean carriers have taken note of the work we are doing here and they know of our reputation for efficiency.” Image courtesy: Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey Image courtesy: Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey On September 15, the ship also made a record at the Port of Virginia as the biggest ship to call the port. “We are following the trends, but more importantly, we are listening to our customers and the cargo owners moving their goods over our port,” Reinhart said. The largest ship to ever visit the East Coast is scheduled to sail into the Charleston harbor, docking at @SCPorts Wando Welch Terminal, Sun, Sept. 20. The deepened harbor, which achieves a 52-foot depth in 2022, can accommodate larger vessels like the CMA CGM Brazil. #Post45 pic.twitter.com/2Y9W7rYR8G— Charleston District (@CharlestonCorps) September 14, 2020 As the CMA CGM Brazil continues its East Coast journey, it will set individual vessel-size records at the following ports: Port of Savannah (September 19) and Port of Charleston (September 20).