The vessel will later call at the Port of Oakland on December, 31.
CMA CGM Group Chairman and CEO Jacques R.Saadé made the decision to deploy an 18,000-TEU capacity vessel to the U.S.
CMA CGM will be the first carrier to call at a U.S. port with vessels of this size. It says it reflects its faith in the long-term growth potential of the U.S. economy and its commitment to increasing its U.S. market share.
A pioneer in deploying large-capacity vessels to the U.S., the CMA CGM Group has been working closely with the Ports of Los Angeles and Oakland to ensure there is sufficient infrastructure to support an 18,000 TEU vessel. It says it looks forward to working with other ports throughout the U.S. as they begin similar assessments of their infrastructure.
CMA CGM offers 23 shipping lines connecting the U.S. to the rest of the world and employs more than 800 people in the U.S. through its subsidiary CMA CGM (America) LLC.
The U.K. flagged CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin will be 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 399.2 m x 54 m vessel was delivered December 4 by shipbuilder Shanghai Jiangnan Changxing Heavy Industry Co., Ltd.