SAN PEDRO, Calif. — Dec. 14, 2015 — The largest container ship ever to call at a North American port is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Los Angeles on Dec.26th. French shipping line CMA-CGM launched the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin on Dec. 10. The vessel is scheduled to make her maiden call at APM Terminals-Pier 400 at the Port of Los Angeles. The ship has a capacity of nearly 18,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), which is about a third larger than the biggest container ships that currently call at the San Pedro Bay port complex.

“It’s fitting that the largest container ship to ever traverse North American waters would make its first call right here at the Port of Los Angeles,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who recently met with Founder and Chairman Jacques Saadé and other top CMA CGM executives. “The arrival of the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin sends a powerful message that our port stands among the world’s greatest, and that we are prepared to continue growing and adapting to the demands of our global economy.”

"As we were reminded nearly a year ago when activity at the ports along the West Coast came to a near standstill, our ports are a critical economic engine at the local, regional and national levels,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Their effective, efficient operation is necessary for 21st century global commerce, and today’s news demonstrates that the Port of LA is prepared for the next phase of modern trade. Working together, the shipping companies and port workers have enabled the port to bounce back from last year’s slowdown and show the world its capabilities.”

“Together with the Board of Harbor Commissioners, we appreciate the confidence CMA-CGM has instilled in the Port of Los Angeles and the opportunities this vessel call will provide to APM Terminals, longshore labor and supply chain partners,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Earlier this year APM Terminals, longshore, and land-side logistics partners efficiently processed three 13,000 TEUs ships concurrently producing more than 38,000 container moves over an 8-day period. The arrival of the CMA-CGM Benjamin Franklin signals a new chapter in Pacific Rim trade flow and supply chain optimization.”

With its world class infrastructure, skilled longshore labor, and superior conveyance network all set to efficiently handle the largest-class ships on a routine basis, the Port of Los Angeles is uniquely capable to accommodate ULCV-class ships. It is anticipated that the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin will return to San Pedro Bay in the first quarter of 2016 for a call at the Port of Long Beach.

CMA CGM, founded and led by Jacques R. Saadé is the world’s third largest and France’s top container shipping company. Its 470 vessels call more than 400 ports in the world, on all 5 continents. In 2014, over 12.2 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) were carried.

CMA CGM has grown continuously, and has been constantly innovating to offer its clients new sea, land and logistics solutions. Present in 160 countries, with a network of 655 agencies, the Group employs 20,000 people worldwide, including 2,400 in its headquarters in Marseilles.

As North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $290 billion in trade during 2014. Port operations and commerce facilitate more than 148,000 jobs (about one in 12) in the City of Los Angeles and 531,000 jobs (or one in 16) in the five-county Southern California region. The San Pedro Bay Ports support more than 1 million California jobs and 3.1 million nationwide.


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