MIAMI – PortMiami set a new record Tuesday as the largest container ship to ever call at a Florida port arrived.
The CMA CGM Argentina, a 15,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) vessel, arrived around 9 a.m.
The container ship was built in 2019 and is currently sailing under the flag of Malta.
The massive ship can hold roughly 15,000 20-foot cargo containers and is nearly three football fields long.
“It really is amazing,” said Mark Baker, president of the South Florida Container Terminal. “I never thought I’d see a ship like this come in here.”
Baker has been working at PortMiami for the past 40 years.
He says the arrival of the container ship is symbolic of the port’s overall growth.
“All of these ships bring in cargo from all over the world. TV’s, refrigerators, anything that you consumers buy, we bring in through these ships,” he said.
Not only is the ship bringing in more cargo to Miami, but this is the start of what could lead to more massive cargo ships coming to PortMiami.
Aside from just being a huge ship, it’s a major deal for the port as it symbolizes all of the investments and the expansion projects that they’ve done in recent years, such as widening and dredging the channels, allowing these types of ships to come through.
“Four or five years ago, we couldn’t handle these ships,” Baker said. “They would stop at Savannah, which is the closest deep port to port, or go to New York.”
Because of the expansion projects, these mega-ships will no longer have to bypass PortMiami – a move that means more jobs and more resources for local consumers.
“It means more jobs for truck drivers, more hours for the longshoreman that discharge and load the ship. So it’s a combination, and it also helps the community,” Baker said.
The CMA CGM Argentina arrived to Miami from Georgia, making the trip in one day.
After departing South Florida, it will travel through the Suez Canal before making its final stop in Shanghai, China.