Posted April 19, 2020
A giant containership squeezing under the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge as it made way toward the Port of Oakland was a sight for sore eyes yesterday as shipping enthusiasts flooded social media with images of the sea giant.
The 19,200 TEU MSC Anna, owned by Mediterranean Shipping Company, has docked at the port’s Oakland International Container Terminal on the Oakland Estuary, claiming the title of the largest ship ever to call in Oakland. The massive ship can carry 18,000 20-foot containers, and is longer in lenght than the Saleforce Tower is in height.
The port said that the 1,312-foot-long vessel is on special assignment from MSC of collecting a backlog of empty containers in Southern California before arriving in Oakland. The ship is scheduled to spend 24 hours at the port 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 port added that the arrival of such a giant is gratifying for Oakland, especially at a time when global trade is facing so many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing cargo volume declines.
Oakland had been investing heavily in order to bolster its capacity to welcome bigger ships which included dredging works as well as the raising of its cranes.
San Francisco Bar Pilots said they’ve undertaken extensive planning with the Port and MSC to prepare for the arrival of the MSC Anna.
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.
“The San Francisco Bay is one of the most challenging pilotage grounds in the world and safely piloting these huge ships requires expertise and significant training,” Capt. Long said.
“The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of the global supply chain to our region’s economy. “