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Boston port served by the largest-ever cargo ship to visit the city

The arrival of the Ever Fortune reflects a massive expansion of the Conley cargo terminal and a related harbor dredging project

Massport's newest cranes are unloading and loading the largest cargo ship to visit Boston.Matthew J Lee/Globe Staff/Matthew J Lee/Globe staff

The 1,100-foot-long Ever Fortune visited the Conley cargo terminal in South Boston on Sunday, the first of the larger ships that the Massachusetts Port Authority is hoping to attract with a massive expansion of the terminal and harbor-dredging project.

The Ever Fortune is being used by the Ocean Alliance consortium to transport goods between the East Coast and Asia. Ocean Alliance had suspended its weekly service to the port of Boston in November, because congestion at the Savannah, Ga., port was creating scheduling problems. The ship is registered to Evergreen Marine, a member of Ocean Alliance.

The ship is the first to arrive in Boston with a capacity of 12,000 TEUs, a measurement used to determine cargo capacity. For this ship, that means it has enough room for the equivalent of 12,000 20-foot-long shipping containers. Before its expansion, the Conley’s capacity maxed out at 10,000 TEUs, because of the limited heights of its cranes and depths in the harbor channel.

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Alan Campbell, a 20-year veteran crane operator, drove one of Massport's newest cranes, unloading and loading the largest cargo ship in Boston called "Ever Fortune" Matthew J Lee/Globe Staff/Matthew J Lee/Globe staff

The Ocean Alliance is expected to resume regular Boston service sometime in February, probably using larger-capacity ships, such as the Ever Fortune, than the ones it previously used to serve the port.

Massport can serve these bigger ships at Conley now after it installed three new cranes last year: two that are 205 feet tall and one that’s 145 feet tall.

The new cranes are part of a broader $850 million plan to improve the city’s shipping operations, one that has been partially funded by state and federal grants.

The harbor-channel dredging is expected to be completed in the spring, a Massport spokeswoman said, although enough has been done to make room for the Ever Fortune’s arrival.

Massport's newest crane unloading and loading the largest cargo ship in Boston called "Ever Fortune."Matthew J Lee/Globe Staff/Matthew J Lee/Globe staff
Two of Massport's newest cranes unloading and loading the "Ever Fortune."Matthew J Lee/Globe Staff/Matthew J Lee/Globe staff



Jon Chesto can be reached at jon.chesto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.