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Ship larger than the Empire State Building sailing to New York Harbor, will be biggest ever to dock on East Coast

Clayton Guse, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

NEW YORK – A container ship larger than the Empire State Building will float into New York Harbor next week and become the biggest vessel to ever dock on the East Coast.

The 1,300-foot CMA CGM Marco Polo spans the length of five Manhattan blocks and at the time of its christening in 2013 was the world’s biggest container ship. Many ships launched since then are even bigger.

Marco Polo is due at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal on May 20 to offload a slew of consumer goods, ranging from Christmas decorations to vanilla extract.

The Marco Polo can carry roughly 6% more cargo than the CMA CGM Brazil, which arrived in Elizabeth last September and at the time was the biggest ship to call at an East Coast port.


The Marco Polo’s arrival is made possible by Port Authority work to deepen the harbor around the New Jersey seaports in 2016 and by the raising of the Bayonne Bridge’s roadway in 2017. Such megaships are becoming more common in the global shipping industry.

Despite the pandemic, amount of cargo unloaded at New York and New Jersey’s seaports during the first quarter of 2021 hit record levels and were up by 21% from the same period of 2020, Port Authority data show.

After it departs New Jersey, the Marco Polo will continue down the East Coast to its next stop in Norfolk, Va.

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