Largest ship on East Coast arrives at Savannah port

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A titanic-sized ship is making history in Georgia today.

The largest ship on the East Coast of the U.S. is arriving in Savannah this morning. The Marco Polo arrived at the port around 8:30 a.m.

Even by the standards of ocean carriers, the CMA CGM Marco Polo is a behemoth: three-and-a-half football fields long — standing on end, it would be roughly the height of the Eiffel Tower. For Georgia standards, it’s longer than three of the University of Georgia’s Vince Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium.

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The ship can tote enough cargo to fit in more than 16,000 20-foot-long containers.

The Georgia Ports Authority posted live video on its Facebook page of the ship arriving. Crowds of people lined River Street to see the colossal ship arrive.

The Marco Polo has a capacity approximately six percent larger compared to the CMA CGM Brazil, previously the largest vessel to call the East Coast, which sailed through Savannah in 2020.

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It’s the largest container ship ever to call on the East Coast, and its visit this week to New Jersey; Norfolk, Virginia; Savannah, Georgia; and Charleston, South Carolina underscores both the surging volume handled by ports nationwide as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease, as well as the billions of dollars spent by port systems to accommodate these larger ships.

Savannah’s port, the fourth-busiest container port in the country, is in the final stages of a six-year, roughly $1 billion project to deepen the shipping channel. Officials expect the port to have handled 5 million containers in the current fiscal year ending June 30, just four years after surpassing 4 million for the first time.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story

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