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Maura Maxwell



Port of LA prepares to make history

Port will welcome the largest container ship ever to call in North America later this month

Port of LA prepares to make history

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The largest container ship ever to call at a North American port is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Los Angeles on 26 December.

French shipping line CMA-CGM launched the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin on 10 December and 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 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 CMA CGM founder and chairman Jacques Saadé and other executives from the company.

“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.”

Secretary of Labour Thomas Perez said the news demonstrated that the port is prepared for the next phase of modern trade.

“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,” he said.  “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.”

The port’s executive director Gene Seroka said the decision was a vote of confidence by CMA CGM in the port and its workers.

“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 optimisation,” Seroka said. 

As North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated US$290bn in trade during 2014. Port operations and commerce facilitate more than 148,000 jobs in the City of Los Angeles and 531,000 jobs in the five-county Southern California region.


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