The Port of New York and New Jersey hit a milestone earlier this week with the arrival of the MSC Virgo, the largest vessel to call on the Port Newark Container Terminal.
Built in 2020, the 15,000 twenty-foot-equivalent unit (TEU)-capacity vessel is part of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company’s Indusa service, which connects India to the East Coast. The MSC Virgo is the Geneva-based company’s first 15,000-TEU vessel to call on any U.S. East Coast port, officials said. The MSC Virgo stretches 366 meters long (1,200 feet) and 51 meters wide (167 feet), with a draft of 14.4 meters (47 feet). Before the MSC Virgo, the largest container ship to call on Port Newark was the 13,100-TEU capacity MSC Cristina on April 14, 2021.
The ship’s arrival underscores recent port expansions and improvements. Those include the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program, which increased the air draft of the Port Authority bridge to 215 feet, and the Harbor Deepening Program, which created a 50-foot-deep shipping channel, both of which readied the seaport to welcome ultra-large container vessels, officials said.