Biggest Vessel in Port’s History Called; Arrival of 13,000-TEU COSCO Development

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Biggest Vessel in Port’s History Called; Arrival of 13,000-TEU COSCO Development

May 22, 2017 - 10:42
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At 1,200 feet long and 158 feet wide, the containership COSCO Development is a behemoth. It is 100-plus feet longer that the U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford, and is bigger than any containership to call The Port of Virginia and the U.S. East Coast.

The COSCO Development Source: Port of Virginia

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.