The COSCO Development, the largest container ship ever to call on the U.S. East Coast, is on its way to Savannah, ushering in an era of big ships that is expected to become more the norm than the exception for the country’s fourth-largest container port.
Capable of carrying more than 13,000 TEUs — or 20-foot equivalent unit boxes —the Development made history last week as the largest container ship to pass through the newly expanded locks of the Panama Canal.
She called on the Port of Virginia Monday, leaving port Tuesday bound for Savannah.
The Development is expected to arrive at Garden City Terminal between 10 and 11 a.m. Thursday, putting it in front of City Hall sometime between 8:30 and 10 a.m. Her departure for Charleston is estimated at around 6 p.m. Friday.
From Charleston, the ship will head out to sea, setting sail for the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa en route to Asia.
She won’t be calling the Port of New York/New Jersey, however; the Development is too large to fit under the Bayonne Bridge.
The length of four football fields and nearly 160 feet wide, the ship is more than 100 feet longer than the U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford.
She will break the record set by the MOL Benefactor when that 10,000 TEU ship arrived last July, some two weeks after the opening of the Panama Canal.
If you miss the Development this time, there will be other opportunities. The ship is part of a regular rotation deployed in the OCEAN Alliance’s new South Atlantic Express Service, or SAX, which will bring 11,000- to 13,000-TEU ships into port regularly.
To watch the Development come in Thursday morning or go out Friday afternoon, go to savannahnow.com/savannahlivecams