Charleston welcomes largest cargo ship ever in SC

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The largest cargo ship to ever dock in South Carolina has arrived in Charleston.

The Mediterranean Shipping Co.'s MSC Rita arrived Thursday on its inaugural port call. The Rita is 1,065-foot-long with a draft of 47.5 feet.

Charleston has a 45-foot deep shipping channel and a tidal range of up to 6 feet which allows ships with drafts of 48 feet to enter the harbor.

Mediterranean Shipping and the South Carolina State Ports Authority signed a contract extension last year keeping the company calling in Charleston through 2017. The company also dedicated a new South Atlantic corporate headquarters in Mount Pleasant.

The largest ship to ever visit Charleston was the cruise liner Queen Mary 2, which called in June 2006.

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