The vessel can carry 13,092 twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs. The previous record was held by the MOL Benefactor when it sailed to Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) last summer. By comparison, the arrival of the COSCO Development breaks the previous record by 3,000 TEUs.
“We’ve seen nothing like her here,” said John. F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “For years, we have been talking about the ‘next generation’ of vessels and the ‘big-ship era’. This is what we have been preparing for: the talk is over, the big ships are here.”
Reinhart said the growing vessels sizes and accompanying cargo volumes are behind the port’s US$670 million investment to increase overall annual throughput capacity by 40 percent – 1 million containers – by 2020. Presently, heavy construction is underway at VIG and the civil engineering work is nearing its start at NIT.
During the course of her 30-plus hour stay in Virginia, multiple labor shifts will loaded and unloaded nearly 2,000 containers. On average, most vessels are there for 12-14 hours.