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MSC sends mega vessel to pick up the empties

MSC Anna, a 19,462TEU container ship, is expected to call on the US West Coast on 16 April, on special assignment to collect a backlog of empty containers that have built up as a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Port of Oakland said that the 400m long vessel is collecting empty containers in Southern California before arriving in Oakland and it is scheduled to spend 24 hours in Oakland discharging import containers and loading exports.

MSC Anna will be the largest ship to tie up at Oakland International Container Terminal on the Oakland Estuary.

“We have spent years, and millions of dollars keeping ahead of the pace of trade and the size of ships,” stated Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan.“We’re ready for the MSC Anna and we’ll welcome her back any time.”

San Francisco Bar Pilots said they have undertaken extensive planning with the Port and MSC to prepare for the arrival of the MSC Anna. Pilots navigate ships in and out of San Francisco Bay and guide them to ports.

According to Joseph Long, President of the Bar Pilots Association, preparations for the MSC Anna’s arrival included computer simulations at the Cal State Maritime Academy in Vallejo. The simulations contributed to a better understanding of navigational demands created by megaships, he explained.

“The San Francisco Bay is one of the most challenging pilotage grounds in the world and safely piloting these huge ships requires expertise and significant training,” Capt. Long commented.

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