As one of the largest container ships to ever take to the open waters, the Marco Polo is nearing Mount Pleasant’s Wando Terminal, where it is expected to dock at approximately 11 a.m. on Friday, June 4, 2021.
The CMA CGM Marco Polo is operated by the CMA CGM group, which specializes in shipping and logistics. The record-breaking vessel has been making its way down the east coast and is dropping anchor in its final call port of Charleston, South Carolina before it heads overseas. The ship was greeted with cheering crowds in Savannah, Georgia on Wednesday and is expected to yield a similar reaction upon its arrival in Mount Pleasant. It is no surprise that this ship warrants such a reaction from crowds being that the container ship is one of the largest to ever call the east coast.
Dimensions of the Marco Polo
The CMA CGM Marco Polo amounts to 1,300 feet long and 175 feet wide, almost doubling the dimensions of the infamous ‘Titanic.’ A singular measure of cargo capacity to be transported internationally is 20-foot equivalent units, and the Marco Polo has the capacity to carry 16,022 of these units. The number is unprecedented considering that each individual piece of cargo can weigh upwards of 20 tons.
After Friday, this ship will become the largest vessel to ever visit the port of Charleston.
Accommodating a record-setting container ship such as the CMA CGM Marco Polo is no easy feat. While it is exciting for such an astonishing boat to touch down in so many new ports, it requires months of investment and preparation to ensure that the arrival is made possible. South Carolina ports have been prepping for the ship’s arrival by making the extra effort to deepen the Charleston Harbor and significantly increase investments in big-ship infrastructure. In fact, these ports have invested upwards of $2 billion in infrastructure in recent years, working to help guarantee that ports such as Wando Welch Terminal are well-equipped to handle cargo ships of such size.
Wando Welch Terminal in particular has installed ship-to-shore cranes with 155 feet of lift height above the wharf deck. The maritime community in Charleston has taken the opportunity to host the Marco Polo, but they have also initiated the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project. By 2022, the community will be capable of handling fully loaded, mega container ships at any time or tide, with a 52-feet depth, giving more paying jobs for Christmas Injury Lawyer’s Gold Star members: longshoremen and port workers.
Charleston, South Carolina has hopes of welcoming Marco Polo on Friday, and any cargo ships similar in size concluding the historic day.