South Carolina Ports Authority Welcomes 8,500 TEU Vessel
The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) welcomed last week the Hannover Bridge, first neopanamax size vessel to call Charleston after transiting the newly-opened expanded Panama Canal.
The Hannover Bridge, an 8,200 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) “K” Line vessel, calls Charleston as part of the CKYHE Alliance’s weekly All Water East Coast Loop 3 Service (AWE3) that connects the southeast with China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea.
“SCPA is already benefiting from the upsizing of vessels in response to the expansion, with 16 of the 26 weekly container vessel calls in Charleston now being served by large ships formerly known as post-panamax,” said SCPA president and CEO Jim Newsome. “The arrival of the first 8,500-class vessel to pass through the newly-expanded Panama Canal locks bound for Charleston is a milestone for our port and maritime industry. We look forward to seeing this larger class of vessels more frequently in our harbor, which offers the depth and capacity required to serve the biggest ships deployed to the southeast.”
On the heels of larger vessel deployment and the opening of the Panama Canal expansion, SCPA expects to handle its first 14,000 TEU vessel call later this year. Charleston is currently the deepest harbor in the Southeast, routinely handling ships over 1,100 feet long and 150 feet wide with drafts up to 48 feet.
When the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project to 52 feet is completed, Charleston will offer the deepest harbor on the U.S. east coast. Beyond harbor deepening, SCPA has a 10-year, $1.3 billion capital expenditure plan that includes the construction of a new container terminal, the Leatherman Terminal, and the modernization of existing facilities and technology.
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