Port Welcomed Largest Container Ship Ever To Call On New York/New Jersey
The MOL BENEFACTOR is first to travel through new Panama Canal lock and visit an East Coast port
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and GCT USA welcomed the captain and crew of the MOL BENEFACTOR at GCT Bayonne last week. As the largest container vessel ever to call on the Port of New York and New Jersey, this signals a new era in shipping as the port continues to handle the largest vessels now transiting the recently expanded Panama Canal locks.
The MOL BENEFACTOR is a neopanamax class vessel boasting a 10,100 TEU capacity. It is the first vessel to visit any east coast port after passing through the new locks, which opened on June 26.
GCT USA completed expansion at GCT Bayonne in the summer of 2014, ensuring the port was big-ship ready for large vessels already transiting the Suez Canal. Previously, the largest ship to call on the port was the 10,070 TEU Zim Tianjin in spring 2015, which was also serviced by GCT Bayonne.
By contrast, the average vessel calling on the Port of New York and New Jersey today has a capacity of 5,000 TEU, meaning new larger ships like the MOL BENEFACTOR will result in cargo coming in and out of the harbor on fewer ships. These neopanamax class ships are the most advanced environmentally engineered ships afloat, dramatically reducing emissions per ship and emissions for total cargo handled.
The MOL BENEFACTOR, a neopanamax vessel christened in 2016, is approximately 48.6 percent more fuel efficient than a standard Panamax vessel that calls on the port.
“We welcome the MOL BENEFACTOR to our port and look forward to other large ships visiting the port in the coming weeks,” said Port Authority Port Commerce Director Molly Campbell. “Today’s ship call validates that we are open for business and that we are big-ship ready now that the Panama Canal project is complete.”
“private investment expanded and modernized GCT Bayonne in advance of the Panama Canal completion,” stated John Atkins, GCT USA President. “This enables us to handle our customers’ largest vessels now and for years to come, ensuring that New York remains the harbor of choice.”
To prepare for the new larger ships, the Port Authority and its private-sector tenants have invested $6 billion in projects to prepare the port complex. The most critical investment is the raising of the roadway on the Bayonne Bridge, a $1.3 billion project that will increase the navigational clearance under the bridge from 151 feet to 215 feet. The bridge’s navigational clearance will be in place by the end of 2017, allowing all terminals to serve the largest ships calling the port. Ships docking at GCT Bayonne do not have to travel under the Bayonne Bridge.
A 10-year project to deepen the harbor’s channels to 50 feet will be completed this summer. The Port Authority also invested $600 million to equip port terminals with environmentally-friendly on-dock rail, in addition to significant investments to upgrade the port’s internal road network.
During the upcoming weeks, additional large ships from the G6 Alliance are expected to make their maiden voyages to the Port of New York and New Jersey, calling GCT Bayonne.
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