The Port of Los Angeles welcomed the largest container ship ever to call at a North American port at dawn on Saturday, December 26.
Launched by the French shipping line CMA CGM on December 10, the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin is 1,300 feet long, 177 feet wide and has the capacity of nearly 18,000 containers, including 1,500 Reefer containers. All containers placed in a line would equal the distance between Santa Monica and Santa Barbara.
At 1,300 feet, the Ben Franklin is longer than the Empire State Building is tall, and is wider than a football field.
The vessel is 197 ft. high, which is the same height as a 20-floor building.
After it concludes its maiden call at APM Terminals-Pier 400 at the Port of Los Angeles, the vessel will later call at the Port of Oakland on December 31.
“By deploying an 18,000-TEU capacity vessel to the U.S., CMA CGM is showing faith in long-term growth potential of the U.S. economy, and its commitment to increasing its U.S. market share,” said CMA CGM.
The ship will be docked at Pier 400 where seven out of a possible 10 cranes will tend to it over the course of five days.
The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin is deployed on the Pearl River Express, a service connecting the main China ports, including Xiamen, Nansha and Yantian, with the U.S. West Coast ports. The vessel was delivered to CMA CGM on December 4, 2015.