In a history-making run, the largest container ship to call at a U.S. port will visit Long Beach Thursday bringing goods from China.
The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin is longer than the Empire State Building is tall, wider than a football field and as tall as a 20-story building. Local leaders called it the future of shipping during its first stop in North America at the Port of Los Angeles Dec. 26.
French shipping company CMA CGM will hold an inauguration event and celebration Friday for local leaders.
Although the event is not public, people should be able to see the ship from the waterfront area east of the Long Beach Convention Center, and from sections of Alamitos Beach, said Art Wong, a Port of Long Beach spokesman.
The Ben Franklin called at the Port of Oakland after leaving Los Angeles in December, then sailed to China on Jan. 4. It reached Xiamen, China Jan. 30, later calling at the ports of Nansha, Hong Kong and Yantian before leaving for Long Beach Feb. 4. It will stay in Long Beach until Feb. 24.
The megaship holds 18,000 TEUs, each of which is roughly the size of a standard, 20-foot-long shipping container, and incorporates technology that proponents say makes it one of the world’s greenest transportation options including:
• An electronically controlled engine that reduces CO2 emissions
• An “Exhaust Gas Bypass” system improves efficiency when slow steaming, reducing CO2 emissions by 1.5 percent at low speeds
• An oil recovery system that prevents oil from leaking into water
The Ben Franklin also incorporates a variety of ship design elements that help it move more efficiently through the water, saving fuel.
Speaking when the ship called at the Port of Los Angeles in December, Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents the San Pedro area, called the Benjamin Franklin incredible.
A ship of its magnitude has the potential to impact the local economy in a measurable way, Buscaino said.
“This ship represents a type of efficiency that will ensure that this port complex remains globally competitive,” he said.
By Greg Yee, Press-Telegram