Tuesday, December 15, 2015

California Ports Look Forward to Welcoming Giant 18,000 TEU Container Ship

Aptly Named Vessel Starts Work in the US on Boxing Day
Shipping News Feature
FRANCE – US – CHINA – UK – The largest container ship ever to call at a North American port is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Los Angeles on December 26. French shipping giant, CMA CGM launched its new ultra-large container vessel, which it named in honour of one of the United States’ founding fathers, the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin on December 10, to be deployed on the Pearl River Express service which connects main ports in China to the US West Coast. As part of the service, she will later call at the Port of Oakland on December 31.

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. Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka, said:

“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 labour and supply chain partners. 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.”

The CMA CGM Group has been working closely with the Ports of Los Angeles and Oakland to ensure there is sufficient infrastructure to support an 18,000 TEU vessel. Looking forward, the group will aim to work with other ports throughout the US as they begin similar assessments of their infrastructure.

Following this trial run, the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin will be deployed on the Pearl River Express rotation during the first quarter of 2016. The service will see the giant ship call at Fuqing, Xiamen, Nansha, Hong Kong, Yantian, Long Beach, Oakland, Fuqing.

In other Oakland news, the city also serves as an air freight hub as well as a deep sea container port and now Norwegian Airlines has announced a thrice weekly service between London and the west coast destination. Although principally a passenger service, the carrier, named as World’s Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline and Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline, will doubtless listen to calls for some freight as belly hold cargo.

Starting May 12, 2016, Norwegian Airlines will introduce the weekly flights from Oakland International Airport (OAK) to one of its largest European hubs, London Gatwick, aboard its new 787 Dreamliner Aircraft.