Watch CBS News

Largest Container Ship To Ever Dock In North America To Arrive At Port Of LA

LOS ANGELES ( — The biggest ship to ever call at a North American port is scheduled to arrive later this month at the Port of Los Angeles.

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 capacity of 18,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units. Most ships visiting the Port of Los Angeles have an average capacity between 8,000 and 11,000 TEUs, and the largest to visit the port was 14,000 TEUs, Port of Los Angeles spokesman Phillip Sanfield 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 noted that the Los Angeles port recently resolved congestion problems and a work slowdown, and that the arrival of the Benjamin Franklin shows the port "is prepared for the next phase of modern trade."

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.