PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The largest container vessel to call at The Port of Philadelphia docked at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal on Feb. 13. The M/V MSC Shuba B arrived from the West Coast of South America with a cargo of predominately perishable fruit. The origin of most of the cargo was from Chile and Peru, which included table grapes, peaches, plums, pears and blueberries.
PhilaPort has a long history of trade with the agriculturally rich countries of Chile and Peru. In 2017, the value of the cargo originating from Chile had a value of more than $1.1 billion dollars and $475 million from Peru, a 15 percent increase from the previous year.
“Being able to handle a 12,200 TEU container capacity vessel is a game changer”, said Jeff Theobald, Executive Director and CEO of PhilaPort. “This size of vessel is increasingly being used as the workhorse for shipping lines around the world. It’s the reason why we are working so hard to make the necessary capital improvements which we have planned as quickly as possible.”
PhilaPort is currently implementing a $300 million infrastructure improvement plan which includes wharf strengthening, new cranes, paving and many other terminal improvements. In 2017, the Port realized 19 percent growth in its containerized cargo volumes handling 548,000 containers.
“It’s great to see this new class of vessel here before we have our new cranes and the official opening of the new deeper channel”, said Tom Holt, President of Holt Logistics. “It’s definitely a sign of more good things to come.”
The M/V MSC Shuba B is as large as the new 60-story Comcast Technology Building being constructed in Philadelphia at 1,100 feet long and a deadweight of 134,000 mt. This is the largest class of vessel that MSC currently has calling the U.S. East Coast.
PhilaPort, The Port of Philadelphia, is an independent agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania charged with the management, maintenance, marketing and promotion of publicly-owned port facilities along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, as well as strategic planning throughout the port district. PhilaPort works with its terminal operators to modernize, expand and improve its facilities, and to market those facilities to prospect port users. Port cargoes and the activities they generate are responsible for thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the Philadelphia area and throughout Pennsylvania.