The Port of New Orleans welcomed its largest container ship ever when the CMA CGM–operated Pusan C, a 9,500 twenty-foot-equivalent unit vessel, called on Oct. 8 at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal operated by Ports America. The Pusan C set a record as the largest container vessel to call at the terminal by 1,000 TEUs. The container ship arrived as Port NOLA continues to experience growth in total containerized cargo volumes.


CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest container carrier, operates the Pusan C as part of the company’s PEX 3 Service, a direct weekly container service to Asia from Port NOLA. The PEX 3 Service is part of the Ocean Alliance, which includes CMA CGM, OOCL, Evergreen and Cosco. The direct ports of call are  Singapore, Vung Tau, Hong Kong, Shekou, Ningbo, Shanghai, and Busan, Korea, with connections to over 30 destinations throughout Asia.


“The deployment of larger vessels highlights our strong growth in container volumes and the success of the PEX 3 service connecting America’s heartland to global markets like Asia,” said Brandy D. Christian, Port of New Orleans president and CEO. “Gulf Coast container volumes are predicted to continue to rise, and we look forward to capturing the growth opportunities with our ocean carrier partners like CMA CGM.”


Despite an overall drop in inbound cargo related to the new tariffs, Port NOLA recorded a 20% growth in containerized cargo volumes in the first three months of fiscal year 2019 over 2018 (July-September). The growth in containerized cargo has been driven by overall export growth as well as increased imports. To stay ahead of market demand, Port NOLA is implementing a strategic master plan that presents a menu of strategies to optimize current assets and extend the port’s reach across all business lines.