The Port of Long Beach has welcomed what it billed as the largest container ship ever to call at a North American port. Mediterranean Shipping Co.’s Fabiola, with a capacity of 12,500 20-foot container units, called at the Total Terminals International facility in Long Beach on March 16.
In the weeks ahead, MSC is expected to phase into its trans-Pacific service additional large vessels with 11,000- to 12,500-TEU capacity.
Long Beach anticipates that other carriers will gradually upgrade the size of the vessels in their Pacific Southwest services. Many vessels calling in the trans-Pacific are already of 8,000-TEU capacity.
“Few ports can handle these giant ships. Long Beach is big-ship ready, and we continue to invest so we’ll be ready for the next generation of larger, environmentally friendlier and more efficient cargo ships,” said J. Christopher Lytle, the port’s executive director. He said Long Beach’s main channel is 76 feet deep.
Long Beach is scheduled to spend $4.5 billion for marine terminal and infrastructure development in the coming decade.