The MSC Laurence, one of the largest to dock at the Port of Seattle, arrived Thursday at 6:30 a.m.
The ship is carrying up to 13,000 containers. If laid end-to-end, the containers would reach nearly 50 miles. They could stretch to the top of Mount Rainier 18 times. The ship itself, at 1,200 feet long and 159 feet wide, is the length of nearly two Space Needles.
The Laurence isn't the largest ship ever to dock in Seattle. The ship taking that title was the Benjamin Franklin which held 18,000 containers and docked at Terminal 18 in February 2016.
Still, the Laurence is the largest cargo vessel to visit the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s terminal 46. The alliance is a marine cargo operation in partnership with the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle. Combined they are the fourth largest container gateway in North America.
The Mediterranean Shipping Company, based in Geneva, sent the Laurence. The company has docked at North Harbor terminals since 2011 and has almost tripled its container volumes to date.
The NWSA is investigating upgrades to the North Harbor’s Terminal 5 and South Harbor’s Husky Terminal because those larger vessels require terminals with deep berths, strong piers and large container cranes.
The cargo operations support 48,000 jobs in the Puget Sound according to a 2013 study by the NWSA. Factoring in farmers and manufacturers who ship products through the two harbors, NWSA reaches 443,000 jobs across Washington State.