DECEMBER 29, 2015 — The 18,000 TEU containership CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin became the largest cargo ship ever to call a U.S. port when it arrived in Los Angeles on December 26 and the port has now released a video of the event.
Making the port call was the decision of Jacques R. Saadé, Group Chairman and CEO of the vessel's owner, Marseilles, France, headquartered CMA CGM.
"As a pioneer Group, this unprecedented call shows CMA CGM's strong faith in long-term growth potential of the U.S. economy and our commitment to increasing our U.S. market share," said Mr. Saadé. "Since its creation, the CMA CGM Group has demonstrated boldness: we anticipate our clients' expectations and we are innovative in order to create bespoke solutions."
Receiving an 18,000-TEU capacity vessel for the first time required long and meticulous preparation.
For several weeks, the CMA CGM Group worked with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and city officials, the Port of Los Angeles, harbor pilots, APM Terminal, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, railroads, trucking companies and many others in the maritime supply chain.
Approximately 11,200 containers were handled during the 56 operating hour call. Up to nine cranes were used on the vessel, the largest number of cranes deployed simultaneously on the same vessel at the Port of Los Angeles.
A reinforced and highly skilled team of longshore workers were used on the unprecedented call.
With more than 4,500 containers were to be carried to their final destinations by train, rail cars were pre-staged to the Port of Los Angeles over a period of several weeks to ensure fastest turnarounds. Truckers were also notified of the high level of activity.
The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin was scheduled to leave the Port of Los Angeles today, arriving in the Port of Oakland for its second U.S. call on Thursday, December 31 after going under the Golden Gate Bridge at approximately 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time that day.
CMA CGM has launched a photo competition on Instagram to allow three winners to visit the ship mid-February in Long Beach. More details HERE.