The longest ship to call on Port of Charleston will not be in the local waters until early this evening, an official says.

The 1,157-foot-long Arthur Maersk is scheduled to be passing through Charleston Harbor sometime after 6 p.m., according to Allison Skipper, a spokeswoman for the State Ports Authority.

Arthur Maersk is just 2 feet longer than the Axel Maersk, which set the record in April.

These mega-ships are of the “Post-Panamax” class, meaning they’re too big to get through the Panama Canal.

Shippers are shifting to bigger ships to save costs.

There’s more of these behemoths on the horizon for Port of Charleston since MSC ASYA, a 1,104-footer, is set to steam into port on May 21.

By maritime standards, Arthur Maersk and MSC ASYA are not technically the largest container ships ever to drop anchor in Charleston.

The 1,102-foot-long MSC Sindy, which tied up to the Wando Welch Terminal in 2011, is considered the biggest because it can hold the equivalent of 9,580 20-foot containers. That about 1,300 more than Arthur Maersk and 380 more than MSC ASYA.

Check postandcourier.com for more updates.

Reach Tyrone Richardson at 843-937-5550 and follow him on Twitter @tyrichardsonPC.