Biggest ship to ever dock on East Coast lands at Port of Virginia


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The largest ship ever to dock on the East Coast, longer than 4 football fields, was welcomed at Port of Virginia this week.

At more than 1,200 feet long and nearly 170 feet wide, the containership CMA CGM Brazil is massive. It is more than 100 feet longer than most U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and is bigger than any containership to call The Port of Virginia or come to the U.S. East Coast.

“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.

On Tuesday morning, 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 vessel can carry up to 15,072 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and eclipses the old record by
more than 700 units. It is operated by the CMA CGM Group, a France-based shipping and
transportation company.

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. 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 the deepest port on the U.S. East Coast.

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