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Army Corps' New York District heralds the arrival of the largest container ship to Call in the Port

USACE New York District
Published Sept. 12, 2020
The CMA/CGM Brazil is 1,200 feet long and one of the largest in the world.

The CMA/CGM Brazil is 1,200 feet long and one of the largest in the world.

The container ship CMA/CGM Brazil enters the New York Harbor.

The CMA/CGM Brazil is the largest-capacity container ship to enter the Port of New York and New Jersey. The Brazil’s arrival was made possible as a result of the Harbor Deepening Project.

The mammoth container ship, the CMA/CGM BRAZIL entered the New York Harbor on Saturday, September 12th

The 1,200-foot-long CMA/CGM Brazil is one of the largest in the world and holds the title as the largest-capacity container ship to enter the Port of New York and New Jersey.  The ship is the size of eight Statues of Liberty monuments, or two Washington Monuments, and has a capacity of 15,072 TEUs, 20-foot equivalent units — a standard measure for container cargo.

Assembled on the deck of the Army Corps vessel DCV Hayward, Army Corps leaders, U.S. Coast Guard representatives, members from The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, and other officials observed an up-close view of the historic event as the crew of the Hayward maneuvered the Corps’ vessel along the ship’s route.

Onboard the Hayward were Col. Matthew Luzzatto, Commander, Army Corps’ New York District and Joseph Seebode, Deputy District Engineer for Programs and Project Management who observed the fruits of their labor as the ship made its transit, validating the significance of the harbor deepening effort.

The arrival of the CMA/CGM Brazil was made possible as a result of the Harbor Deepening Project — a multi-year effort completed in 2016 orchestrated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

During the overall project, the port’s main shipping channels were deepened to allow large ships such as the size of the CMA/CGM Brazil to reach the Port’s container terminals.  

The Corps in partnership with the Port Authority deepened 38 miles of federal navigation channels during the deepening endeavor.    

The project consisted of separate deepening contracts to deepen the Ambrose Channel to the Upper New York Bay, Anchorage Channel, Kill van Kull, Arthur Kill and Newark Bay, providing access to the Global Marine, New York Container, Elizabeth Marine terminals, and Port Newark. 

On its way to its dock at Port Newark, the Brazil made its way along the Kill van Kull Channel, a 3-mile long 1,000-foot-wide tidal straight that flows between Staten Island, N.Y. and Bayonne, N.J.

The ship passed under the 5,322-foot span Bayonne Bridge that ranks as the fifth largest in the world.  At one time, the bridge’s once ample clearance was too low to facilitate the passage of enormous ships which resulted in the bridge being raised and navigational clearance achieved. 

The deepening of the Kill van Kull was a significant navigation achievement that now enables safe transit for ships to reach Port Newark.  

 “The success of the harbor deepening project is a testament to the dedication and great collaboration of the New York District, Port Authority and a host of partners and stakeholders,” said Seebode.  “The harbor deepening established a bold vision for using synergy which resulted in the successful construction of the harbor deepening mega project.” 

Completion of the 50-foot deepening has been the Port’s single-most important infrastructure project and was a major milestone ensuring the Port’s global competitiveness and continued economic growth.  The deepened channels now allow for the port to accommodate bigger and more modern vessels from around the world.

In addition to economic growth, the harbor deepening also generated and relocated dredged material, some of which was used to construct habitat.

The harbor deepening may be the most important and influential project related to modern day economics in the Northeast. Modern-day container ships may now enter the port fully loaded and safely.

The Port of New York and New Jersey is the gateway to one of the most concentrated consumer markets in North America and the largest port on the East Coast. The Port Industry of New York and New Jersey has become the second largest ‘container port’ in the United States after the Port of Los Angeles.

The Port Industry of New York and New Jersey accounts for nearly $12 billion in tax revenue, supports over 500,000 jobs, and responsible for $36.1 billion in personal and $99.5 billion in business income in the region.

“The arrival of the CMA CGM Brazil highlights the benefits of the Port Authority’s significant investment in critical port infrastructure and the far-reaching effects it has on the broader region and its economy,” the Port Authority said.