CMA CGM’s Marco Polo largest ship to call in Port of Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Port welcomed the biggest container ship to ever call the port on Friday. The 1300-foot-long ship CMA CGM Marco Polo, boasting a capacity of 16,020 containers, arrived on Friday at noon at PhilaPort’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal (PAMT).

The ship is 180 feet taller than Philadelphia’s tallest building, the Comcast Technology Center, which is 1,120 feet and longer than four football fields.

The vessel’s length would span 2.6 Philadelphia city blocks and owned by the French giant CMA CGM.

According to officials from the port, CMA CGM’S “NAMEX” service originates in Yantian, China, continuing through Vietnam, Malaysia, Siri Lanka, and Morocco, before heading to the U.S. East Coast.

Jeff Theobald, executive director and chief executive of PhilaPort, said: “This vessel is the manifestation of years of hard work preparing for this newer class of vessels.

“It has always been our goal to be able to handle these vessels which have become the workhorse of maritime trade around the world”.

The cargo being transported by vessel to the port consists of fruit and vegetables, such as clementines from Morocco. Typically, food products valued at over $5 billion move up the Delaware River per year.

“We are thrilled to finally bring a vessel of this size up the Delaware River,” said captain David Cuff, president of the Pilots Association of the Bay, and River Delaware.

The port of Philadelphia has experienced a container growth of 74 percent since 2015.

As the port claims, vessels like the CMA CGM Marco Polo, which call at the port of Philadelphia, “can generate up to 565 direct and indirect jobs and $5m in state and local taxes.”

Video credit: PhilaPort (the port of Philadelphia).