Port Tampa Bay have also announced in February that the shipper’s Pacific Express 3 was adding Tampa as a weekly stop on a route that consists of calls in China, Singapore, Vietnam and South Korea, after passing through the Panama Canal, Houston, Mobile, Ala., New Orleans and Miami.
However, the ship's expected arrival led to some local speculation about whether it was too large for the approach to Tampa, specifically ahead of the fact that a contractor for the Army Corps of Engineers has been dredging the shipping channel.
Commenting on this, Army Corps spokeswoman Susan Jackson explained that the dredging project was a planned maintenance job that had actually started last year and continued this spring. Before work began again, a survey of channel conditions took place in March, and the corps initiated a part of the channel where some sediment had gathered.
On Tuesday, Capt. Allen Thompson, the executive director of the Tampa Bay Pilots Association, said that he is not worried over the vessel's ability to arrive unobstructed. The main shipping channel has a project depth of 43 feet, with the CMA CGM Dalila featuring a draft of 40 feet, 8 inches.