On March 3, the CMA CGM Group revealed that starting at the end of May, it would deploy its flagship fleet of six 18,000-TEU vessels between Asia and the US West Coast. The move follows several successful trial runs at seaports in California and Washington State.
“The six 18,000-TEU vessels named after the Great Explorers will be deployed on the trans-Pacific market, the most dynamic one, to accelerate its growth,” the company said in a statement. “This decision is in line with both the growth strategy set by the Group in the United States and around the world.”
The six 18,000-TEU ships that bear the names of great explorers are: CMA CGM Bougainville, CMA CGM Kerguelen, CMA CGM Georg Forster, CMA CGM Vasco de Gama, CMA CGM Zheng He and CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin.
Last December, the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin became the largest ship ever to call in the United States. It was inaugurated Feb. 19 at the Port of Long Beach, in ceremony that included the presence of CMA CGM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jacques Saadé, as well as about 450 customers, local politicians and various stakeholders.
The Benjamin Franklin, which is 1,310 feet long and 177 feet wide, also has called at the port of Seattle and Oakland in recent weeks.
18,000 TEUs is more than double the cargo of most container ships calling at terminals at West Coast ports. If laid end-to-end, 18,000 containers would stretch about 68 miles.