Port of Oakland welcomes CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, first megaship ever in U.S.

Press Release

For Immediate Release
December 31, 2015

Port of Oakland welcomes CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, first megaship ever in U.S.

Quarter-mile-long vessel signals new era of global trade

Oakland, CA – December 31, 2015: The Port of Oakland this morning successfully berthed the largest cargo ship to ever visit the U.S. The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, at 1,310-feet nearly a quarter-mile long, tied up at the Port’s Outer Harbor. By docking without incident, it symbolically opened the Trans-Pacific trade route between Asia and North America to megaships.

“This is a milestone for the Port of Oakland and for U.S. trade,” said the Port’s Maritime Director, John Driscoll. “We’ll see more of these big ships before long. This vessel also represents and reinforces the economic partnership between the U.S. and France.”

Helicopters, watercraft and scores of photographers accompanied the Franklin as she passed under the Golden Gate Bridge at approximately 9 a.m. and nestled into Port by 10:50 a.m. Longshore workers will begin loading and unloading cargo containers on Saturday. The new vessel is scheduled to depart Monday, returning to Asia at the conclusion of its maiden voyage.

“We are happy to be making this second call at a U.S. port. The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin’s call at the Port of Oakland was made possible thanks to a tight collaboration with all stakeholders at the port. By welcoming the largest container ship ever to call at U.S. ports, authorities have demonstrated their willingness to be part of an ever growing shipping industry”, said Marc Bourdon, President of CMA CGM (America) LLC, a subsidiary of CMA CGM.

Until today, megaships carrying 18,000 containers or more have been used exclusively in Asia-Europe trade lanes. Now that the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin has proven workable in Oakland, other megaships will likely follow. They’re the most cost-effective, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly vessels afloat.

The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin is operated by Marseille-based CMA CGM, a family-owned container shipping line.

About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Robert Bernardo,
Communications Manager
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1401

Mike Zampa,
Communications Director
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1565

Media & Newsroom

Not sure who to contact or have a general question? Use our contact form to route your request