Halifax breaks record, welcomes largest containerised cargo vessel to call at a Canadian port


The CMA CGM Marco Polo has arrived at PSA Halifax in the Port of Halifax. This is the largest containerised cargo vessel to call at a Canadian port, and the first call for a vessel of this size along the East Coast of North America.


The Port of Halifax is Canada’s Ultra Atlantic Gateway, connecting to more than 150 countries. In 2020, the total impact of the Port of Halifax on the Province of Nova Scotia was over $3.6 billion in economic output with the direct portion being $2.3 billion. This level of activity generated over 18,775 jobs.

With a terminal area of 32 hectares, a continuous berth length of 800 metres and a depth of 16.5 metres, PSA Halifax is the only port in Eastern Canada that can accommodate ultra-class vessels.

Offering a natural, deep harbour and big ship infrastructure, Halifax can accommodate large volumes of containerised cargo, bulk cargo and project cargo of any size. Collaborating and working with strong partners and stakeholders, the Port community in Halifax continues to deliver excellence.

“We have a reliable workforce here in Halifax. We have a strong community sense here. We can work it efficiently and reliably,” said Captain Allan Gray, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority. “Saltwater is in our veins. We know how to handle these big ships and turn them around.”

The CMA CGM Marco Polo has carrying capacity of 16,022 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) and is 396 metres length overall with 54 metres beam. The CMA CGM Marco Polo sails on the weekly the weekly Ocean Alliance AWE3 service arriving direct from South Asia, South East Asia and China.

After setting the Canadian record with a stopover in Nova Scotia, the CMA CGM Marco Polo is now on its way to break the US East Coast record after it called New York and New Jersey on Thursday, May 20.

Apart that, the CMA CGM Marco Polo will set individual big-ship records at every port it visits on the North American east coast. This includes Port of Virginia (May 23), Port of Savannah (May 26) and Port of Charleston (May 28).

The CMA CGM MARCO POLO is sailing on the company’s Columbus JAX service, travelling from South Asia to the East Coast of America. The debut of the vessel on the JAX reflects an increase in capacity. It signifies the Group’s commitment to creating agile and flexible solutions to meet the needs of its US customer base, many of whom are experiencing unprecedented boosts in e-commerce sales and the resulting increased demand for goods.

As one of the nation’s top ocean-freight carriers, CMA CGM is well positioned to serve its customers during these unique times. CMA CGM serves 19 US ports with 34 services and 93 weekly port calls. In addition, the Group’s subsidiary, American President Lines (APL), operates a fleet of US-flagged vessels and supports US territories and American military stationed around the world. The CMA CGM Group employs more than 12,000 team members across the US and is also a leading provider of logistics services through its subsidiary CEVA Logistics.

Ed Aldridge, President of CMA CGM America and APL North America said, “At CMA CGM, we are dedicated to providing solutions for our customers. The deployment of the CMA CGM MARCO POLO is yet another indicator of our flexibility and commitment to delivering the essentials that keep America moving. It is also important to mention that this milestone would not be possible without the efforts of our port partners on the East Coast. Their intelligent, timely infrastructure improvements to support larger ships make it possible for us to proactively respond to the needs of our customers.”


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