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US east coast ports dredge, lift bridges to live in a mega ship world


THE Port of New York-New Jersey, which opened itself to mega ship at all container terminals after raising the Bayonne Bridge, has had a burst of mega ship calls, reports IHS Media.

All US east and Gulf coast ports have shared this experience with the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2016, which enabled vessels nearly three times the size of old panamaxes to call on all-water services from Asia.

In the first eight months of 2017, the number of 8,000 - 10,000-TEUers calling at New York-New Jersey increased 35 per cent year on year.

In September 2017, the port welcomed the 14,000-TEU CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, the largest vessel ever to call at the port.

About 50 per cent of the cargo on these large vessels was discharged and reloaded in New York-New Jersey, so stakeholders immediately felt the effect.

This was also accompanied by container yard congestion, and longer truck turn times at the gates.

To prepare for bigger ships and increased container moves per call, terminal operators invested US$2 billion in capital projects, and the port and federal government contributed a further $4.7 billion.

Most North American container ports face similar capital investment requirements as they prepare their facilities and inland infrastructure for, at minimum, a doubling of cargo volumes in the next 20 years.

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