The MOL Northern Juvenile became the largest container ship ever to dock in JaxPort when it arrived on Friday.

 

The Northern Juvenile, which is owned by the Tokyo-based Mitsui O.S.K. Lines shipping company, is capable of carrying 8,800 twenty-foot-long containers, according to a press release from JaxPort. The previous record was set in January by the MOL Competence, which can carry 8,100 of the containers.

Container vessels have been growing since the use of standard containers began in the 1950s. Their growth has accelerated over the last 15 years: In 2013, the largest ships could hold about 18,000 20-foot containers, up from a limit of 8,000 in 2000, according to a report from Hofstra University.

JaxPort officials, and many other local officials, cite the ever-growing ships as a reason to deepen the Jacksonville Harbor from 40 to 47 feet, a feat that would cost an estimated $766 million, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Northern Juvenile disembarked from Shanghai, China on March 14, traveled through the Suez Canal in Egypt and stopped in Norfolk last week before heading to Jacksonville, according to the Mitsui O.S.K. website.

Richard Webner: (904) 359-4370