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  December 16th, 2015 | Written by

Los Angeles to Host Largest Ship to Call in North America

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The largest container ship ever to call at a North American port, the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Los Angeles on December 26.

The massive ship, if set on its stern would be taller than the Empire State Building, and has a capacity of 18,000 TEUs (20-foot Equivalent Units) and is about a third larger than the biggest container ships that currently call at the Southern California port.

The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, named for one of the most prominent of U.S. founding fathers, will be deployed on the Pearl River Express, a transpacific service connecting the main China ports including Xiamen, Nansha and Yantian with U.S. west coast ports.

The Marseilles, France -headquartered CMA CGM Group said it has been working closely with the ports of Los Angeles and Oakland “to ensure there is sufficient infrastructure to support 18,000 TEU vessels.”

The ship will berth at the port’s APM Terminals-Pier 400 facility and call at the Port of Oakland on New Year’s Eve. She is scheduled to return to San Pedro Bay in the first quarter of 2016 for a call at the Port of Long Beach.

“Earlier this year APM Terminals, longshore, and land-side logistics partners efficiently processed three 13,000 TEUs ships concurrently producing more than 38,000 container moves over an 8-day period,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The arrival of the CMA-CGM Benjamin Franklin signals a new chapter in Pacific Rim trade flow and supply chain optimization.”

France’s top container shipping company, CMA CGM entered the U.S. trades in 1997 and is the third largest container shipping company in the world. Its 470 vessels call more than 400 ports in the world, on all 5 continents. Last year, its ships carried more than 12.2 million TEUs.