The first 18,000 TEU vessel arrived at the US West Coast towards the end of 2015. This paper addresses what this means for the Trans-Pacific trade lane and how the Port of Long Beach is positioned to handle these massive vessels.
A NEW ERA BEGINS
The arrival of the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin to the US West Coast marked a new milestone for the Trans-Pacific trade lane and simultaneously raised questions about what this latest development could signal for the shipping industry and the ports handling these massive vessels. The Benjamin Franklin arrived in Los Angeles in December, 2015 and will be making its second voyage to North America in February, 2016, calling Long Beach. There is only one way to describe these ships: they are massive.
Beyond its physical size, the Benjamin Franklin is considered to be a test of the West Coast’s readiness for this class of vessels. The test could not come at a better time as West Coast ports recovered the market share they had lost in early 2015. Year-over-year, container volume at the Port of Long Beach grew 5.4%, most of it driven by the strongest third quarter in the port’s 105-year history. What is especially remarkable is the fact that Long Beach…