[Watch] L.A. Welcomes the Largest Container Ship to Visit U.S.

CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin

By MarEx 2015-12-28 16:35:34

The largest container ship ever to call at a North American port arrived to the Port of Los Angeles at dawn on Saturday, December 26. French shipping line CMA-CGM launched the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin on December 10.

The 398 meter, 18,000 TEU vessel arrived at APM Terminals’ Pier 400 after sailing from China.

Up until now, mega-container ships of this capacity have been deployed exclusively on the Asia to Europe trade.

The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin will operate a regular service connecting some of China’s main ports, including Xiamen, Nansha and Yantian with Los Angeles and Oakland. The vessel will call at the port of Oakland on December 31.

The vessel is longer than the Empire State Building and wider than an American football field. It is 1,300 feet long, 177 feet wide and 197 feet high. 

The gigantic vessel is also model for high-energy production. Her 78-foot-long engine room contains a latest generation engine as powerful as 900 Ford Focus cars and her 21 knots thrust is equivalent to that of 11 Boeing 747-400 engines (3,000 KNewton). The vessel has the electric production of a city of 16,000 inhabitants (14MWatts). 

The vessel has a crew of 26 members including a chef, and it also has a swimming pool.

It arrived in Los Angeles with containers stacked seven high, but at full capacity it is designed to stack 10 containers high.  The terminal cranes are expected to be ready to take the vessel’s full capacity by the end of 2016.

The Port of Los Angeles handled a total of 709,968 TEU in November 2015, an increase of seven percent compared to the same period last year.

“We’ve seen container volumes at and above 700,000 TEU for the past six months, which demonstrates consistency and the strength of our supply chain partners,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “With larger vessels coming into the transpacific trade this month, including the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, we can further show the gains we have made this year in terms of effectively moving greater volumes through our port.”
Imports improved 7.6 percent to 358,423 TEU in November compared to the previous year. Exports dropped 5.7 percent to 142,020 TEU in November. For the first 11 months of 2015, overall volumes of 7,534,181 TEU are down 1.9 percent compared to the same period in 2014.

Vessel particulars    

Ship Builder: Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (a CSSC’s subsidiary)    
Deadweight Tonnage: 185,000 tons
Year of built: 2015  
Building cost: $151 million    
Gross Weight Tonnage: 175,000 tons
Net Weight Tonnage: 100,000 tons
Container capacity: 18,000 TEU / 1,100 TEU refrigerated containers (reefers)
Cargo tonnage 240,000 tons    
Flag: UK    
Length: 398 m / 1,305 ft
Breadth (Width): 54 m / 177 ft
Draught (Draft): 16 m / 53 ft
Engines: MAN B&W 11S90ME-C9.2
Fuel consumption – 330 tons per day    
Cruising Speed: 25 kn / 29 mph / 47 km/h
Power output: 87,900 hp / 65,500 kW
Crew capacity: 27