THE Port of Newark recently received its biggest box ship ever – the 15,072-TEU Portuguese flagged MSC Virgo, reported Fort Lauderdale’s Maritime Executive.
The arrival of the MSC Virgo also tied the record for the largest container vessel to visit the broader Port of New York and New Jersey seaport.
Built in 2020 by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea, the MSC Virgo is deployed on MSC’s INDUSA service that rotates through Abu Dhabi, Jebel Ali, Port Qasim, Nhava Sheva, Mundra, Haifa, New York, Charleston, Savannah, Freeport, Houston, Freeport, Valencia, King Abdullah Port, Abu Dhabi, Jebel Ali, Karachi Port Qasim and Mundra.
The addition of the new ship to the route also marked a significant upgrade to capacity on the route. With a capacity of 15,072 TEU, it is the largest vessel on the route; the current average vessel size on the INDUSA run is 8,000 TEU.
The arrival of the MSC Virgo at Port Newark on May 1 also made her the largest vessel operated by MSC to call at the Port of New York and New Jersey. Before the MSC Virgo, the largest containership to call in Port Newark was the 13,100-TEU MSC Cristina on April 14.
On a tonnage basis, the MSC Virgo also became the largest containership to arrive in the Port of New York and New Jersey 158,000 dwt, just slightly exceeding the CMA CGM Brazil, which at 156,900 dwt took the title of largest in September 2020. The two vessels are the same length, but the Brazil has a slightly large capacity at 15,072 TEU.
To enable the docking of big ships port authority has made critical investments that included the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Programme, which increased the air draft of the bridge to 215 feet, and the Harbour Deepening Programme, which provided a 50-foot draft in the channel.