The 8,700 TEU CMA CGM Bianca has made the first Ocean Alliance call at APM Terminals Port Elizabeth at the Port of New York and New Jersey.
The vessel is operating the weekly Ocean Alliance US East Coast Loop 3 service, connecting China and Southeast Asia with the US East Coast. It arrived and departed on schedule with a berth productivity of 129.2 moves per hour for the 4,393 container moves at the terminal.
Until the expanded Panama Canal opened in June 2016, the Port of New York and New Jersey mainly handled container ships of the 5,000-8,000 TEU size. With the widened canal, vessels with a capacity of up to 14,000 TEUs can now transit the locks.
The 350-acre APM Terminals Port Elizabeth facility is capable of handling up to 2.3 million TEUs per year and is now undergoing a US$200 million infrastructure investment programme in preparation for the arrival of ultra-large container ships.
The roadbed of the Bayonne Bridge, which links New Jersey with Staten Island and was originally completed in 1932, has now been raised 64 feet (19.5 metres) to a height of 215 feet (65.5 metres). This will permit ships of up to 18,000 TEU capacity to enter Newark Bay from June 30, 2017. The channels of New York and Newark Bay have also been deepened to 50 feet (15.2 metres).
APM Terminals Port Elizabeth will be equipped with eight super-Post-Panamax cranes and six Post-Panamax cranes, as well as 24 inbound gates and 16 outbound gates to optimize truck traffic.
The terminal handled 1.33 million TEUs in 2016, approximately 21% of the port’s total container throughput, according to APM.