Biggest ship ever to cruise into Port of Los Angeles

By City News Service

The biggest ship to ever call at a North American port is scheduled to arrive later this month at the Port of Los Angeles, harbor officials said Monday.

The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, which is expected to call at the Port of Los Angeles on Dec. 26, is one-third bigger than the largest ships now operating at the San Pedro Bay’s twin ports complex.

Ships of that size and bigger — known as “ultra large container vessels” — have begun operating at Asian and European ports in recent years.

Port Executive Director Gene Seroka said the ship’s anticipated arrival “signals a new chapter in Pacific Rim trade flow and supply chain optimization.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti said the Port of Los Angeles is capable of handling the bigger loads, and is “prepared to continue growing and adapting to the demands of our global economy.”

The French ship, launched on Dec. 10, has a carrying a capacity of 18,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units.

Earlier this year, the Port of Los Angeles was able to move a total of 38,000 containers from three 13,000 TEU capacity ships over a period of eight days, Seroka said.

The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin’s maiden call will be at the Los Angeles port’s APM Terminals, at Pier 400. The ship is also expected to return in early 2016, this time to the Port of Long Beach.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, noting that the Los Angeles port recently resolved congestion problems and a work slowdown, said the arrival of the Benjamin Franklin shows the port “is prepared for the next phase of modern trade.”

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