CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston saw history being made as the largest cargo ship to ever come to the east coast made its way through the Holy City.
Many gathered this morning at the Ravenel Bridge to witness the ship, named The Brazil, make its way towards the Charleston Harbor.
The group didn’t just include locals but some who traveled as far as Augusta, GA to witness the massive ship.
The ship’s ultimate destination was the Wando Terminal.
Once it arrived, Jim Newsome, President and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority, explained the economic impact of the ship’s arrival.
“Well it has a huge impact, I think the studies show the cost benefit ratio being 6.4 to 1, which is significant. That’s why it got federal funding,” said Newsome.
The ship measures at around 1200 feet long and carries items such as retail goods, hardware, tools, and much more.
Officials said this day is a part of a larger project.
“This is a big deal for South Carolina but it’s also a big deal that the $597 million investment in the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project,” said Rachel Honderd, District Commander of the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The deepening of the harbor enables it to handle bigger ships similar to The Brazil.
Honderd explained more about the potential impact of the deepening project in the harbor.
“Today on average the harbor is around 42 to 48 feet deep… Ultimately we will take it to 52 feet deep.”
Barbara Melvin, COO of the South Carolina Ports Authority, talked about the preparations that were made to make the ship’s arrival possible.
“We’ve bought taller cranes, fortified our warps, improved our yard equipment, deepened our harbor. All of these things is what allowed us to bring this ship in successfully today,” said Melvin.
The ship is expected to remain at the Wando Terminal until around 4:00 pm on Monday, September 21.