|Theodore Roosevelt, Charleston's biggest container ship, falls short of cargo record
By David Wren
The CMA CGM THEODORE ROOSEVELT, the largest cargo ship to call at the Port of Charleston cruises toward the Ravenel bridge on Thursday, Sep. 14, 2017 as it passes Patriots Point. photo: Leroy Burnell/Staff
By Leroy Burnell
While its size set a record, the THEODORE ROOSEVELT container ship missed the mark for cargo moves during its visit to the Port of Charleston last week. Workers at the Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant moved 3,003 metal cargo boxes on and off of the Roosevelt during a 36-hour period, the State Ports Authority reported Monday. That included 1,337 containers imported to the U.S. and 1,666 boxes exported to foreign countries. The total number of cargo boxes fell short of the 3,593 that were moved during the OOCL MALAYSIA's visit on July 23.
All told, the ROOSEVELT spent nearly two days in Charleston — docking at 10:10 a.m. on Thursday and setting sail for its home base in Asia at 3 a.m. Saturday.
The ROOSEVELT, capable of carrying 14,855 cargo boxes, is the largest container ship to travel through the widened Panama Canal and call on East Coast ports. Roughly the length of four football fields, the vessel also visited ports in Norfolk, Va., Savannah and New York-New Jersey. It is part of the Ocean Alliance's South Atlantic Express service — a group of 11 ships that carrying 11,000 or more cargo boxes that call on the Port of Charleston every week.
The Roosevelt's visit last week coincided with French shipping line CMA CGM's announcement that it recorded a net income of $219 million for the second quarter of this year on revenues of $5.5 billion. That compares with a $129 million net loss a year ago.
While the shipping line is carrying more cargo, it also is charging more money per container. And the carrier recently confirmed an order for nine vessels even bigger than the Roosevelt, capable of carrying 22,000 cargo boxes.