The US Port of Boston welcomed its largest ever cargo ship on Sunday, July 17, when the 8,530 TEU container ship Xin Mei Zhou docked at the Conley Terminal as part of the CKYHE Alliance’s recently upgraded Asia – US East Coast service, the Massachusetts Port Authority reports.
Following the opening of the expanded Panama Canal on June 26, COSCOCS and its partners in the CKYHE Alliance announced deployment of 8,500 TEU sized vessels on the Asia to East Coast route. Shipping lines continue to indicate their intention to deploy vessels carrying 10,000 to 12,000 TEUs in the future, according to Massport.
Conley currently services ships that carry 4,000 to 6,000 TEUs, and the need for a new berth, landside improvements and harbor dredging are all being addressed by the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, the Commonwealth, Massport, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Earlier this month, Massport was notified it would receive USD 42 million as part of the US Department of Transportation’s FASTLANE grant program. The grant funding will be used to upgrade existing facilities at Conley to better handle larger ships coming to Boston now.
Massport could potentially get USD 107 million in state funding from the economic development bill which would go towards the building of a new berth and larger cranes to handle larger ships carrying more cargo.
“This is an exciting time at Conley as we have seen double digit growth in both imports and exports this year,” said Massport’s Port Director Lisa Wieland.
“Having calls by larger ships is the future, and the Port is working diligently to accommodate them.”