New Jersey’s port has shattered another record, as the CMA CGM Marco Polo — the largest cargo ship to dock on the East Coast — sailed into the Port of Elizabeth Thursday morning.

The huge ship arrived this morning after passing under the Bayonne Bridge, which was raised in 2017 to specifically accommodate these types of larger container ships. The Marco Polo is calling at ports in North America after a voyage from southeast Asia through the Suez Canal, officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said.

It’s the largest cargo ship to call on the port since the 1,200-foot-long CMA CGM Brazil sailed under the Bayonne Bridge on Sept. 12, 2020 and continues the port’s role as second busiest in the nation.

“The Port Authority’s infrastructure improvements such as the raising of the Bayonne Bridge and the deepening of the navigational channel serving our seaport have made possible this historic moment,” Rick Cotton, the Port Authority’s executive director, said in a statement.

How big is it? At a length of 1,300 feet, it is longer than the height of the Empire State Building and spans about five Manhattan city blocks, or 3.5 football fields. The massive ship has containers stacked nine tiers above the deck.

The Port of New York and New Jersey is the CMA CGM Marco Polo’s first port of call in the U.S., arriving at the APM Terminal in Elizabeth from South Asia.

The Marco Polo will unload 5,000 containers of clothing, pharmaceuticals, furniture, appliances, holiday decorations, building materials, home fixtures and food. On Saturday, the cargo ship will sail from Elizabeth to Norfolk, Virginia.

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Larry Higgs may be reached at [email protected].

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