CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin to Call at Seattle

File image courtesy CMA CGM

By MarEx 2016-02-18 20:43:46

The newly built ultra large container vessel CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin will call at the port of Seattle at the end of February, an arrival symbolic of the renewal of the port's traffic flows, up significantly in recent months.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (including the ports of Seattle and Tacoma) saw a 25 percent increase in international container volume in January, reflecting the return of vessel traffic after congestion from a protracted labor dispute sent shipments elsewhere last year. The ports (as with other West Coast ports) were hit hard by slowdowns and labor actions during contract negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) .

The Franklin's arrival February 29 will follow calls at Long Beach and Oakland, which she also visited on her maiden voyage in December and January. The 18,000 TEU vessel is the largest container ship to call at any North American port.

The Franklin will be berthed at Seattle's Terminal 18, the largest container facility in the Pacific Northwest. The Harbor Island facility has a dedicated freeway ramp, 24 truck lanes and 10 cranes, including six with a lift of 145 feet.

To achieve its full deck stack height of 10 containers, the Franklin requires shore cranes capable of lifting to nearly 170 feet; at its prior call at Port of Los Angeles, the Franklin was only able to load seven containers high in order to account for the port's 133-foot cranes. On February 12, APM Terminals, the container terminal operator at Port of Los Angeles, announced that it would be investing in retrofitting its cranes to reach the full stack height of 10 containers.

The Franklin was docked Thursday at Long Beach after a return trip to China.

West Coast ports have spent significant sums preparing their terminals to receive the mega-ships, including millions on dredging and upgrading cranes at the port of Oakland.

French shipping line CMA-CGM launched the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin on December 10. CMA CGM officials said they're deploying the ship in a regular service connecting China with the U.S. West Coast.

Vessel particulars    

Ship Builder: Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (a CSSC subsidiary)    
Deadweight Tonnage: 185,000 tons
Year of built: 2015  
Building cost: $151 million    
Gross Weight Tonnage: 175,000 tons
Net Weight Tonnage: 100,000 tons
Container capacity: 18,000 TEU / 1,100 TEU refrigerated containers (reefers)
Cargo tonnage 240,000 tons    
Flag: UK    
Length: 398 m / 1,305 ft
Breadth (Width): 54 m / 177 ft
Draught (Draft): 16 m / 53 ft
Engines: MAN B&W 11S90ME-C9.2
Fuel consumption: 330 tons per day    
Cruising Speed: 25 kn / 29 mph / 47 km/h
Power output: 87,900 hp / 65,500 kW
Crew capacity: 27