This past Saturday, on an uncharacteristically cool and rainy weekend morning, the Charleston Harbor welcomed perhaps its largest visitor ever.
At about 9:45 a.m., Cosco Development, a monster container ship floated beneath the Ravenel Bridge. The freighter was the largest to ever stop in port on the East Coast and one of the first to travel through the newly-expanded Panama Canal.
At 1,200-feet long, it's nearly a full 100 feet longer than the normal 'large' ships we see here. Development is classified as having 13,000 TEU capacity, meaning it carries roughly the equivalent cargo of 13,000 standard 20-foot containers.
Eager to capture the big ship's arrival in the Holy City Harbor, the crew from the S.C. Ports Authority dispatched some sort of aerial photography (unclear if it's a drone or a chopper or both) to document the harbor's big visitor. And it's a beaut.
Did you miss Development's arrival? Well, another big ship is due into port on Saturday, the 1,080-foot Cape Tainaro. She's not quite as big as last week's but these bigger ships are the start of what the Ports Authority says will be more-frequent visits from 'neo-Panamax' ships. A $509 million project is underway to deepen Charleston Harbor shipping channel to 52 feet to help make the port "big-ship ready."