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Massport hopes to open Boston Harbor to larger container ships this fall, but not Ever Given large

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Massport hopes to formally open an expanded, "Big Ship Ready" Conley Terminal this fall, after $850 million and several years' worth of expansion work that has included dredging a deeper ship channel through Boston Harbor and installing new, bigger cranes to unload containers from the largest ships that can traverse the Panama Canal.

But even with all that work, the Evergreen Ever Given wouldn't be able to dock at the South Boston facility, now that it's been freed - it's just too big.

A $350-million dredging project paid for by Massport, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the state, the bulk of which finished in December, deepened the main shipping channel through the harbor into the Reserved Channel from 40 to 47 feet (the project was delayed when the Corps and Massport sued the MWRA and Eversource over the cross-harbor conduit that powers the Deer Island sewage treatment plant, which a Boston Edison contractor had failed to bury deep enough under the harbor bottom).

But fully loaded, the Ever Given has a draft of 47 feet, 7 inches.

The three new cranes Massport will be installing - so big Massport had to build a new berth for them away from the current berths because otherwise they might have caused a potential problem for planes landing at Logan - are designed to handle ships with a maximum capacity of 14,000 TEU - with one TEU being roughly equivalent to one 20-foot-long shipping container.

That's good enough for ships coming through the Panama Canal these days, and a significant increase over the roughly 8,000-TEU vessels the terminal can now unload, but the Ever Given has a capacity of 20,124 TEU.

Also, the new berth is 1,250 feet long - while the Ever Given is 1,312 ft, 2 inches long.

Still, even if the Ever Given can't dock here, its owner, Evergreen, has smaller ships that already dock at the Conley.


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...New England's full-service terminal...

Okay, I'll bite. How is Conley full-service when it's ProvPort that actually has rail intermodal?

I loved the bit about "dedicated freight corridor". Near as I can figure, that's the new driveway that puts trucks directly on Summer Street instead of having to drive on East 1st Street to get to L/Summer Street.

Besides, everyone knows Worcester is the heart of New England.
A little dredging and widening in the Blackstone River and them big ships will be docking at Southbridge Street in no time. Evergreen will slide right in - as smooth as drinking Everclear!

Voting closed 26

1) Dig some tunnels, just a little bigger than a 40 container
2) Put some rounded caps on the end of the container
3) Pressurize tubes
4) Zoom! Containers move in tubes like in an old timey office!

I am seeking $500M in seed financing.

Voting closed 24

The rails do go to Conley, but are not in use/partially blocked. Even massport mentions that the inter-modal containers have to be offloaded to trucks, then driven to Worcester. That's most definitely not full service and puts a ton of trucks on the Boston area roads.
Take a peek at Newark or Long Beach, big rail terminals go straight to the docks to grab those huge containers for efficient offloading. But i guess luxury condos are more important in that area.

Voting closed 11

The most-usable track goes as far as that grade crossing near the State Police. Track continues past that, threading its way through warehouses etc... on that side of the Reserve Channel. I suspect some of it is not actually usable at present.
They haven't actually built a rail connection across the channel to the Conley yet, have they?

Voting closed 8

with one TEU being roughly equivalent to one shipping container.

Not really, or at least not anymore. Today the majority of internationally-used containers are 40 feet long, which is the longest length which is allowed on trucks in many countries. Something like 70% of all global containers are that length, which is 2 TEU, since TEU is twenty-foot-equivalent. So based on what you'd expect to see if you thought "shipping container" you'd be thinking 2 TEU.

Some containers in the US are 53 feet long, since that is the maximum allowable length for trucks here, but these containers rarely leave the country.

The history of shipping containers is interesting, and books, like this one, have been written about it.

Voting closed 20

I love being on Lt McCorkle Pier at Castle Island and watching the ships in the harbor as they go by, especially close because of the shipping channel there. Thank you for your explanation, adds a lot of useful information and I did follow your link and read the synopsis of the book.

Voting closed 14

Honestly a shocker that it's not 12M or 10M.

Voting closed 15

I've changed the line to "20-foot container," which, yes, I realize now isn't really the ne plus ultra of global shipping containers, but getting into more details would just make that sentence way long, when the real point is to show how much larger Suez McSuezface is compared to what will be able to come into Boston.

Voting closed 15

the boat moves a bit, and everyone honks.


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