By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore welcomed a bigger boat this week.

The vessel, the “Gunde Maersk” is the largest container ship to ever dock at the Port of Baltimore.

“What just a decade ago was considered a large vessel is a third of the size of what we have here today,” said Bayrd Hogans, with Ports America Chesapeake.

The so-called super ship was built to take advantage of an expanded Panama Canal, and being bigger means it can carry more, up to 11,000 shipping containers.

“It brings additional capacity to the Port of Baltimore and shippers here in Maryland. It’s really key to our continued growth,” Hogans said.

This size ship is only in Baltimore now because of investments made in the past.

“We have a fifty-foot deep channel,” said Port of Baltimore spokesman Richard Scher. “We have supersized cranes that are right behind me, so these are two key elements that are needed to accommodate these extra large ships,”

Along with the thousands of jobs that potentially come with them, they are also the beginning of a new way to move cargo around the globe.

“Maybe not as many vessel calls in the future, but large vessels is where the industry is headed,” Hogan said.

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