The largest containership to have ever called the Port of Philadelphia was the 8,800-TEU MSC Sophia Celeste on Wednesday.
The MSC Sophia Celeste, an 8,800-TEU ship, is first in a new class of vessels to begin service between the West Coast of South America, East Coast of North America and Northwest Europe
Source: Philadelphia Regional Port Authority
The Port of Philadelphia received its largest containership ever with the Wednesday arrival of the 8,800-TEU MSC Sophia Celeste at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the port said.
Prior to that, the largest ship to have ever called the port was the 8,089-TEU MSC Judith.
The MSC Sophia Celeste is one of 10 ships deployed on MSC’s South America West Coast-USA-Northwest Continent service that ocean carrier schedule and capacity database BlueWater Reporting says have an average capacity of 8,296 TEUs.
The port rotation of the service, which just launched last month, is Rotterdam, Tilbury, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Sines, Freeport, Cartagena (Colombia), Cristobal, Balboa, Buenaventura, Callao, Coronel, Valparaiso, Callao, Balboa, Freeport, Philadelphia and Rotterdam.
Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk Line, along with the Danish carrier’s subsidiary lines SeaLand and Safmarine charter space on the service, according to BlueWater Reporting.
“This new service comes as a direct result of the opening of the Panama Canal Expansion,” said David Whene, president of Holt Logistics’ Greenwich Terminals LLC, which operates the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal. “Coupled with the near completion of the Delaware River Deepening Project, the Port of Philadelphia is poised to capitalize on this new service line as the only direct U.S. East Coast port-of-call between the West Coast of South America and Europe.”
Holt Logistics projects this new weekly service will not only produce more imports to Philadelphia from South America, but also increase volumes from the Midwest destined for export to Northwest Europe.
“With many major improvement projects on the horizon and now this record-size vessel calling the port, so much is occurring to help us assure that the Port of Philadelphia fulfills its vast potential,” Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) Chairman Gerard Sweeney said in a statement. “We commend our partners at Holt Logistics and the ILA for their expert handling of the Sophia Celeste, which, in addition to its record-size cargo, also inaugurates a reinvigorated Northern European service at the port.”