The Port of New York and New Jersey welcomed the CMA CGM MARCO POLO to APM Terminals at the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal on Thursday, May 20. The arrival set a new record for the largest ship to call on the Port of New York and New Jersey, unseating the CMA CGM BRAZIL, which arrived on September 12, 2020. The CMA CGM MARCO POLO is the largest vessel to call upon any U.S. East Coast port to date and will continue to break records as it sails south to call on other U.S. ports.
Constructed in 2013, the CMA CGM MARCO POLO was the largest container ship in the world at that time. It has a maximum capacity of up to 16,022 TEUs—equal to a distance of nearly 61 miles if the containers are placed end-to-end. The vessel stretches nearly 1,300 feet in length, longer than the height of the Empire State Building, and is 176 feet wide.
After a transatlantic voyage via the Suez Canal, the Port of New York and New Jersey is the first port of call in the U.S. for the CMA CGM MARCO POLO. The ship was welcomed at APM Terminals with a ceremony to mark this important milestone. Port Director Sam Ruda presented a plaque to the ship’s Captain Zeljko Mioc.
Up to 5,000 TEUs of items, including clothing, pharmaceuticals, furniture, appliances, building materials, home fixtures, and food, were unloaded from the Marco Polo for distribution to businesses throughout the region and beyond. Ultra-large container ships can carry more containers with fewer vessels, leading to a decreased environmental impact. They also make the transportation of goods more economical while contributing to local, regional, and national growth.
The ability for the world’s largest container ships to call on the Port of New York and New Jersey would not be possible without The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s critical investments over the past few years. The Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program increased the air draft of the bridge to 215 feet, and the Harbor Deepening Program created a 50-foot deep shipping channel, allowing the next generation of ultra-large container vessels to call on the Port of New York and New Jersey.
The Marco Polo is part of CMA CGM Group’s fleet of 566 vessels, which serve more than 420 commercial ports worldwide. The ship sails on the company’s Columbus JAX service, traveling from South Asia to the East Coast of America. A world leader in shipping and logistics, CMA CGM is a long-time partner of the Port of New York and New Jersey.