On Saturday, the Benjamin Franklin, one of the world’s largest cargo ships, will anchor at Port of Los Angeles as it continues its maiden global voyage that started December 10 in China.
The Benjamin Franklin, owned by the French shipping company CMA CGM, will hold the record for being the largest cargo ship ever to arrive in North America. Port spokesman Phillip Sanfield told Southern California Public Radio that it took the port ten years to prepare for this moment: “We’ve dredged our main channel and our berths, we’ve fortified our wharves, we’ve got on-dock rail so that the trains are right adjacent to the dock to take these goods to market.”
Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka added, “The arrival of the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin signals a new chapter in Pacific Rim trade flow and supply chain optimization,” according to the Daily Breeze.
At 1,300 feet long, 177 feet wide, and 197 feet tall, with a crew of 27, the Benjamin Franklin can transport 18,000 TEUs of shipping containers, but its massive size precludes it from passing through the Panama Canal. The ship’s engine is as powerful as 900 Ford Focus cars, and its 21 knots thrust equals 11 Boeing 747-400 engines, according to the Hellenic Shipping News. Its mammoth size dwarfs other ships, as it is capable of transporting one-third more cargo than average container ships arriving in Los Angeles.
The ship is scheduled to dock at Pier 400 before dawn, later docking in Long Beach in early 2016.