Biggest container ship ever to dock in America arrives in Long Beach

benjamin franklin

It will take FIVE DAYS to unload before moving on to Seattle

  • The Benjamin Franklin set sail from Xiamen, China, at 4am on Monday and arrived in Long Beach, Ca. on Friday
  • This is the ship's second time in the U.S. and the vessel will take five days to unload before it travels to Seattle, Wa.
  • The French-built ship is longer than the Empire State building and wider than half a football field and can carry up to 18,000 units, 116,000 tons of cargo

The biggest container ship to ever dock in America has returned to the U.S. to take port in Long Beach, California.
The quarter-mile-long Benjamin Franklin, which is bigger than the Empire State building, can hold up to 18,000 units and 116,000 tons of produce.
On Friday, workers began moving 12,500 cargo containers on and off the ship. The unloading won't be finished until Tuesday.

After arriving in California, the shipping vessel will travel to Seattle, Washington
A private ceremony welcoming the Franklin to Long Beach, was attended by city leaders, elected officials and shipping executives. The megaship will depart Wednesday for Seattle. To get around, a ship of this scale only requires a few more staff than one half the size.
Velibor Krpan, the captain of the Benjamin Franklin, told CNN: 'The larger the ship you have, the more containers you can carry.
'It's cheaper to have bigger ships, containing more products, because you have fewer things to pay for. It's more efficient in every aspect.'

To fit the mega ship, the 10th largest in the world, Los Angeles authorities had to renovate the city's port

However, it will take a while for America to acclimatize to this new style of importing and exporting, which has become popular in Asia and Europe.
Ports are not used to offloading cargo of this scale.
The Benjamin Franklin, built by French shipping firm CMA CGM specifically to operate with America, conducted its trial run from China to America's West Coast in December.
While it normally takes up to three days to offload the contents of a shipping container, the cranes in Oakland took two weeks working on this unprecedented load.

Experts warn the rise in the number of mega ships is accelerating faster than the rate of exports

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti welcomes the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin (in background), the largest container ship to ever call at a North America port, during a press conference at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, California, on December 26, 2015
Meanwhile, experts warn the rise in the number of mega ships is accelerating faster than the rate of exports.
Analyzing the trend for mega ships in June 2015, the International Transportation Forum's Olaf Merk said: 'We found a disconnect between what is going on in the boardrooms of shipping lines and the real world.
'The growth of containerized seaborne trade is no longer in line with the growth of the world container fleet.'
He warns the surge could lead to 'gridlock' in ports around the globe.

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