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Halifax receives largest container vessel to call at a Canadian port 

Photo Steve Farmer

The largest containerized vessel to call at a Canadian port arrived today at the Port of Halifax. The CMA CGM Brazil, 366 metres length, 51 metres beam and 15,072 TEU capacity, berthed at PSA Halifax terminal. The gigantic containership would be the tallest structure east of Toronto if standing stern to bow.

The CMA CGM Brazil sails on the weekly Columbus JAX service, from South Asia to the East Coast of America. With a terminal area of 32 ha, a quay length of 1,045m and a depth of 16.5m, PSA Halifax is the only port in Eastern Canada that can accommodate ultra-class vessels.

This inaugural call of the CMA CGM Brazil comes shortly after the arrival of Eastern Canada’s largest ship-to-shore super post-Panamax crane in July 2020, bringing the total number of SPPX cranes at PSA Halifax to five. The Halifax Port Authority is in the final stage of completion of a deep-water berth extension which will bring the total quay length to 800 metres to meet the growing deployment of Ultra Class Container Vessels.

“It is a great honour to welcome CMA CGM Brazil, the largest container ship of all-time at any Canadian port. The arrival of this ship soon after the delivery of our newest and largest crane demonstrates the benefits of our step-wise development of PSA Halifax,” said Kim Holtermand, CEO & Managing Director at PSA Halifax. He further noted, “With the support of our committed workforce and staff, the Halifax Port Authority, CN, and our broad customer-base and stakeholders, the call is testament of PSA Halifax’s ambition, opportunity and the great resolve within this Port to be alongside creating lasting and sustainable growth.”

The CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, is the only company offering a direct service between Halifax and South Asia. It is also the only carrier offering shipping services from Canada’s five largest ports, which translated to more than 450 calls and approximately 500,000 TEUs in 2019. 

CMA CGM Canada General Manager Thiago Campos stated, “At CMA CGM, we are very pleased to be part of this momentous occasion. The investments made by PSA Halifax and the Halifax Port Authority have made it possible for us to increase capacity and thus better serve our customers’ growing needs, especially for temperature-controlled cargo transportation. Bigger ships represent the movement of more goods, which translates to growth and prosperity for Canada’s economy. The maiden call of the CMA CGM Brazil is a testimony of our company’s commitment to supporting that growth and the people of this great nation.” 

“With our partners, we have been preparing for the arrival of increasingly larger vessels and this is a very significant day for everyone involved,” said Captain Allan Gray, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority. “I congratulate PSA Halifax and CMA CGM for the tremendous work they have put into this. I also want to thank the many others involved in a vessel call such as this including the ILA workforce, CN Rail, and the marine pilots and tug operators who brought her in safely and efficiently. This is an important milestone for our Port City Halifax, and for all of Canada.”