The Port of Boston Gets 68,000-Ton Floating Tribute "COSCO Boston" Visits Conley Terminal for the First Time Today
History will be made today when the container ship COSCO Boston makes her first visit to the city for which she is named. The China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), one of the world’s largest steamship lines, selected the name to cement a seven-year-old relationship of growing business at the Port of Boston. The COSCO Boston is the largest vessel in the Chinese shipping company’s fleet to call Boston, and is only one of four ships in the 150-ship fleet to be named for a US port city.
“We are honored by this recognition,” said Michael A. Leone, Massport’s Port Director. “We have worked hard over the last seven years to foster a strong relationship with COSCO by building a robust customer base, improving our terminal facilities and increasing efficiency to handle these larger vessels.”
Leone said the ship is expected to be the first of several larger COSCO vessels to call Boston regularly. The bigger ships are indicative of COSCO’s confidence in the vitality and stability of the New England marketplace, even during difficult economic conditions. COSCO’s business remains strong in the six-state New England region, showing a 1% increase in imports and exports during the first six months of this year over the same time period in 2008.
Since 2002, the Boston market share of COSCO, the vessel operator, and its partners “K” Line, Yang Ming Line, and Hanjin Line, has grown from 16% to more than 50 percent today. COSCO and its partners provide direct service between Boston and ports in China and Japan which include Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, and Yokohama.
"The dedication of the COSCO Boston by COSCO shows the company’s commitment to the future growth of the Port of Boston and the six-state New England region,” said Gene Hartigan, COSCO Advisor for North America. “As US-China trade continues to expand, it creates a bright future for the Port of Boston’s container cargo business.”
COSCO Boston, built in 2007, is the largest COSCO ship ever to visit the Port of Boston and will be the ninth in the current rotation of COSCO ships that come weekly. The ship is 964 feet long, weighs 68,241tons, and carries 5089 TEUs (TEU is an international shipping industry measurement for container size). Other U.S. port cities with a COSCO vessel namesake include: Long Beach, New York, Norfolk and Seattle.
The Port of Boston is preparing for larger vessels that will call Boston as a result of an expanded Panama Canal. In order enhance the port’s competitiveness, Massport completed a nearly $30 million upgrade at Conley Terminal to improve efficiency. In 2008, the Army Corps of Engineers completed a multi-million dollar dredging project to restore the federal channels within Boston Harbor to a 40-foot depth. The Port of Boston’s activity supports 34,000 jobs, and contributes more than $2 billion to the local, regional, and national economies through direct, indirect, and induced impact. Each year, the Port of Boston handles nearly 15 million metric tons of containerized and bulk cargo including petroleum, natural gas, gypsum, and salt. Top containerized imports include: beer and wine, furniture, frozen seafood, footwear and toys. Top containerized exports include: paper including waste paper, autos, scrap metal, hides, skins, logs and lumber.