The port of Long Beach recently welcomed the largest container vessel to call at an American port. MSC Beatrice (151,559gt) made her first call to the port as part of her deployment of MSC’s Pearl River Express transpacific service and now holds the record as the largest capacity vessel to call at an American port.
With a length of 366m and a capacity of 13,798TEU, MSC Beatrice is one of an ever-growing number of Ultra Large Container vessels (ULCCs) that lines are now deploying on a wide range of trades. Her arrival at Long Beach’s Pier T on Terminal Island on 30 September marked a new era for the transpacific trades as many lines are looking to transfer large vessels from the struggling Europe-Asia trades.
Up until this year, the largest container ships serving North America had capacities of about 10,000TEU. Earlier this year MSC deployed the 12,562TEU MSC Fabiola (2010) in this trade, and now comes the even larger 2009-built MSC Beatrice. After her call at Long Beach, Beatrice headed to Oakland, before returning to China. She will be followed by MSC Altair (2012), which is of the same design.