An enormous container ship currently berthed at the shipping terminal near Point Pleasant Park is the largest vessel of its kind ever to stop in Halifax.
The CMA CGM Libra, which arrived on Saturday morning, is 364 metres long and can hold 11,400 shipping containers.
“Even if you don’t follow ships that closely, you’re going to notice this one,” said Halifax Port Authority spokesperson Lane Farguson. “It’s quite large.”
Halifax has received vessels that hold 10,000 containers before, but this is the first one that holds more than 11,000.
“There’s only a few ports that are deep enough, with necessary berth space that can berth and service these ultra-large vessels. Halifax is one of those ports,” Farguson said.
The closest port that could handle a ship of Libra’s size is New York.
Farguson said the trend in the shipping industry is toward larger and larger vessels. That’s due to a handful of factors, including the addition of a second lane in the Suez Canal, the expansion of the Panama Canal and the raising of the Bayonne Bridge in New York.
Some of the largest container ships in the world hold about 20,000 containers, but those are not used along the East Coast shipping lanes right now, Farguson said.