Spotted: Big Ben Wraps Up Maiden Calls to US

Image Courtesy: Port of Oakland
Image Courtesy: Port of Oakland

The largest vessel ever to call a US port, CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, owned by container shipping line CMA CGM, departed the Port of Oakland as it wrapped up its maiden calls to the US.

The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, the first 18,000 TEU capacity ship ever to visit this port, moored in Oakland on December 31, 2015.

Featuring a length of 1,310 feet, the vessel tied up at the port’s outer harbor, symbolically opening the Trans-Pacific trade route between Asia and North America to megaships.

“The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin’s call at the port of Oakland was made possible thanks to a tight collaboration with all stakeholders at the port. By welcoming the largest container ship ever to call at US ports, authorities have demonstrated their willingness to be part of an ever growing shipping industry,” said Marc Bourdon, President of CMA CGM (America) LLC, a subsidiary of CMA CGM.

“This is a milestone for the Port of Oakland and for U.S. trade,” said the Port’s Maritime Director, John Driscoll.

“We’ll see more of these big ships before long. This vessel also represents and reinforces the economic partnership between the U.S. and France.”

More than 2,200 cargo containers were moved on and off the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin during the weekend. Cargo operations concluded on Sunday night.

CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin was in port until yesterday, when it departed for Chinese ports on January 4.

Prior to this visit, the vessel docked at the port of Los Angeles on December 26.

CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin is scheduled to return to the US in mid-February.

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