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Port of Philadelphia receives its largest vessel


The Philadelphia Port community is buzzing with excitement as the largest vessel to ever call the Port was welcomed at PhilaPort’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal (PAMT). The M/V CMA CGM Marco Polo, spanning 1,300 feet and boasting a capacity of 16,020 containers, arrived last  Friday.

The owners of the vessel are the French shipping company, CMA CGM, the third largest shipping company in the world. 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.

“This vessel is the manifestation of years of hard work preparing for this newer class of vessels,” said Jeff Theobald, Executive Director and CEO of PhilaPort. “It has always been our goal to be able to handle these vessels which have become the workhorse of maritime trade around the world”.

This class of vessel takes advantage of economies of scale. The cost of shipping containers on this ship is more economical, the larger vessels have better fuel efficiency.

“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. “We always knew that we could pilot this size of ship up the Delaware River – safety was and is the highest priority. To be sure it could transit safely, a dozen of our most experienced pilots spent valuable hours training in the simulator at MITAGS (Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies).

The new service will bring consumer goods and cold cargoes from Southeast Asia and fruit from Morocco. Typically, food products valued at over $5 billion move up the Delaware River per year. The new service will provide substantial export opportunities as well.

(Photo from Port of Philadelphia)



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