CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin arrives at Oakland

The arrival of CMA CGM’s 18,000 teu Benjamin Franklin was heralded as a step-change for US container supply chains, marking the beginning of the deployment of ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs) on the transpacific trades, calling at US west coast ports that were previously thought to unable to handle them. The actual maiden call was at APM Terminals’ Pier 400 facility in Los Angeles, and took place last Boxing Day, and involved weeks of planning from terminal management, the carrier and the labour. The service subsequently moved to the nearby COSCO terminal but brought with it the threat of pushing down freight rates. Just six weeks later and the French carrier now appears to have pulled the vessel and five sister ships from the service altogether.

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