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  • 2020 April 15 11:00

    Port of Oakland welcomes biggest ship ever this week

    Coronavirus may be hampering global trade but it hasn't broken the supply chain at the Port of Oakland. The latest evidence: the largest ship ever to call in Oakland arrives this week. The container vessel MSC Anna is scheduled to berth at the Port April 16, the company said in its release.

    The ship will tie up at Oakland International Container Terminal on the Oakland Estuary. The Port said that the 1,312-foot-long vessel is on special assignment from Geneva-based shipping line MSC. It’s collecting a backlog of empty containers in Southern California before arriving in Oakland. It’s scheduled to spend 24 hours here discharging import containers and loading exports.

    “We’ve spent years, and millions of dollars keeping ahead of the pace of trade and the size of ships,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan. “We’re ready for the MSC Anna and we’ll welcome her back any time.”

    The arrival is gratifying for Oakland, which has growth aspirations despite recent cargo volume declines from the coronavirus pandemic. The MSC Anna can carry up to 19,200 20-foot cargo containers. That makes it one of the largest vessels ever to visit a North American port. It's bigger than the CMA Benjamin Franklin which came to Oakland in 2016.

    That ship can carry 18,000 20-foot containers.

    Over the past decade, the Port has dredged waterways and raised container cranes to receive so-called megaships. The largest cargo vessels anywhere in North America arrive in Oakland daily, the Port said.

    San Francisco Bar Pilots said they’ve undertaken extensive planning with the Port and MSC to prepare for the arrival of the MSC Anna. Pilots navigate ships in and out of San Francisco Bay and guide them to ports.

    According to Joseph Long, President of the Bar Pilots Association, preparations for the MSC Anna’s arrival included computer simulations at the Cal State Maritime Academy in Vallejo. The simulations contributed to a better understanding of navigational demands created by megaships, he explained.

    About the Port of Oakland

    The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland Seaport, Oakland International Airport, and nearly 20 miles of waterfront including Jack London Square. The Port's 5-year strategic plan - Growth with Care - pairs business expansion with community benefits, envisioning more jobs and economic stimulus as the Port grows. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 84,000 jobs in Northern California.

    About the San Francisco Bar Pilots

    For 170 years, the San Francisco Bar Pilots have been navigating the world’s largest ships through some of North America’s most difficult waterways. These state and federally-licensed master mariners are highly-specialized ship captains who rely on navigational experience, ship-handling skills, and local knowledge to transport more than $1.2 billion in goods to and from 200 Bay Area ports and maritime facilities every day. This critical service protects more than 1,000 miles of fragile coastline and 90 percent of the state’s marshlands.




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