On Thursday the Port of Savannah welcomed the largest cargo ship to ever call on the East Coast – The COSCO Development, laden with a whopping 13,000 TEUs, or 20-foot container boxes.
The ship became the largest to come through the newly-enlarged Panama Canal just last week, and is headed up the coast from Savannah to Charleston before heading across the Atlantic Ocean and around the Cape of Good Hope en route to Asia. The Development, which at 1,201 feet is larger than the Navy’s newest Aircraft Carrier, is the first of many 10,000+ TEU cargo ships that will come through the canal and into Savannah.
Like Panama, Savannah has been doing its own work to prepare for ships the size of the Development, working to dredge its channel to more easily allow ships of this size, (or larger) to enter the harbor. While that process is not scheduled to be finished for several years, the mega-ships can squeeze into the harbor at high tide. The dredging will make that process much easier and allow for even larger ships to enter.
Thousands of Savannah residents and tourists gathered to watch the ship come in, marveling at its staggering size. Over the course of the day roughly 5,500 TEUs were unloaded and re-loaded onto the ship, another record for the port.