Thanks to a lot of work by the South Carolina Ports Authority and the US Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District a new contract was signed back in December to bring Mediterranean Shipping Company's MSC Rita to Charleston Harbor. Rita at 1065' LOA is the largest container ship yet to tie up on the U.S. South Atlantic Coast.
From the Post and Courier:
SPA chief executive officer Jim Newsome shared the news at a Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce membership breakfast meeting today. Showing a photograph of the MSC Rita on a projector screen, he said: “This is a picture of a ship, but it’s a very important ship.”
Newsome explained that the completion of the Panama Canal expansion in 2014 will change the container industry, as harbor depth becomes more important than ever. The Rita is set to arrive at the Port of Charleston, the deepest natural harbor along the U.S. South Atlantic coast, on Feb. 22, Newsome said.
The Rita can transport the equivalent of about 8,100 20-foot-long shipping containers.
The SPA announced just before Christmas that Charleston would receive a weekly call on MSC’s Golden Gate service from Asia by way of the Suez Canal. The Rita comes as part of that new service.
“This is the only port in the South Atlantic that this ship can call today,” Newsome said.
But none of this would be possible without the US Army Corps of Engineers who keep the channels deep enough to bring container ships the size of Rita to the Wando Terminal.
The above video courtesy of Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District.