Nova Scotia

One of the world's biggest cargo ships just berthed in Halifax harbour

It’s not everyday one of the world’s largest container ships pulls into Halifax harbour. The CMA CGM Brazil travels from South Asia to the east coast of the United States. The ship is big enough to carry a load of 15,000 containers.

CMA CGM Brazil can carry 15,000 containers and is 366 metres long and 51 metres wide

The gigantic CMA CGM Brazil slowly makes its way in Halifax harbour. (Paul Poirier/CBC)

The biggest container-carrying cargo vessel to call on a Canadian port arrived in Halifax Thursday. 

The CMA CGM Brazil is one of the biggest ships in the world and travels from South Asia to the east coast of the United States. The ship is big enough to carry 15,000 containers.

"It's the largest containerized cargo vessel that has ever called on a Canadian port," said Lane Farguson, a spokesperson for the Halifax Port Authority. "If you took that vessel and stood it up it would be as tall as any building in Canada east of the CN Tower."

The massive floating structure is 366 metres long and 51 metres wide.

This inaugural call of the CMA CGM Brazil comes shortly after the arrival of Eastern Canada's largest ship-to-shore super post-Panamax crane in July 2020, bringing the total number of SPPX cranes at the terminal to five.

The Halifax Port Authority is also in the final stage of completion of a deepwater berth extension which will bring the total length to 800 metres. The extension will add over 135 metres of overall length to the pier so it can accommodate the growing number of large ultra-class vessels that are now calling on many of the largest ports in the world.

"The arrival of this ship soon after the delivery of our newest and largest crane demonstrates the benefits of our stepwise development of PSA Halifax," said Kim Holtermand, CEO and managing director at PSA Halifax, which used to be known as Halterm. "The call is testament of PSA Halifax's ambition, opportunity and the great resolve within this port to be alongside creating lasting and sustainable growth."

The ship can carry 15,000 containers at once. (Paul Poirier/CBC)

With the added big-ship infrastructure, combined with a deep harbour capable of handling large-scale vessels, the Port of Halifax should continue to see an increase in the amount of products that are imported and exported.

The direct economic output of Port of Halifax operations and Nova Scotia exporters is $2.45 billion, generating 13,600 jobs.