The harbor channel is to be deepened to 52 feet and the entrance channel to 54 feet, a move which would make the harbor the U.S. east coast's deepest. Additionally, the port's turning basins will be enlarged to accommodate post-Panamax vessels calling at South Carolina Port Authority's container terminals.
With alliances among the major shipping lines firmly in place and 90 percent of new ocean vessels being built 7,500 TEUs or greater, shippers will become increasingly dependent on ports to offer deep and wide harbors for reliable access. The expansion of the Panama Canal and the raising of the Bayonne Bridge in New Jersey, both slated for completion next year, will also bring post-Panamax vessels to the southeast in greater frequency.
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