Largest cargo ship to call on East Coast, CMA CGM Marco Polo, sails under Bayonne Bridge


The largest cargo ship to call on the East Coast, the CMA CGM Marco Polo, sailed under the Bayonne Bridge this morning as it made its way to Port Elizabeth.

Photo courtesy of the City of Bayonne.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

When it was launched in 2013, the Marco Polo was the largest ship in the world: the vessel is five city blocks long, making it longer than the height of the Empire State Building.

Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis and representatives from the Port Authority walked up the new walkway of the Bayonne Bridge to get a view of the cargo ship.

“It was very exciting to see such a large vessel pass under the Bayonne Bridge and transport consumer goods to a New Jersey port. The occasion should remind all of us of the importance of shipping to our regional economy,” he said in a statement.

While up there, the Davis met Vincenzo Robert Biancho and his parents Robert Flannery and Kristy Cranston.  Vincenzo is the grandson of Robert Flannery Sr., who was the Harbor Pilot guiding the Marco Polo through the Kill Van Kull.

Additionally, the escort vessels were provided by the Moran Towing Corporation, while New
York Police Department boats provided maritime security, with helicopters providing protection overhead.

The Marco Polo, a container vessel, was carrying well over 200 containers that bore the names of such shipping companies as Evergreen, China Shipping, Cosco, APL, and CMA CGM – the French company that owns the ship.

CMA CGM has 566 vessels that do business at 420 ports in 160 countries.

Furthermore, the ship was able to sail through the Kill Van Kull to Port Elizabeth due to the Port Authority’s recent raise-the-roadway project at the Bayonne Bridge.

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