It’s bigger than the Empire State Building, wider than an N.F.L. football field, and has a maximum load capacity equal to the volume of 235 Olympic pools.
The Benjamin Franklin container ship is due to arrive in the Port of Long Beach on Feb. 19 from the port of Xiamen in southeastern China, and will become the largest container ship ever to officially dock in a U.S. port, according to CNN.
The 398 meter-long, China-made ship is owned by French shipping company CMA CGM, and is able to transport around 18,000 containers at one go. Such is the size of the vessel that the port in Los Angeles has undergone renovations in recent years to fit behemoths like this one, reported CNN.
“In the shipping industry, size matters,” Ludovic Renou, the general manager for CMA CGM in southern China, told CNN. The Benjamin Franklin made test runs in L.A. and Oakland recently before its upcoming docking.
The ship is reportedly the tenth largest in the world, according to the Daily Mail, and is part of a larger trend of bigger cargo ships over recent years. From 1996 to 2015, container ships have increased in size by almost 90%, a rate faster than any other ship type, according to a report by the International Transport Forum at the OECD. The organization also said that while cost savings have been generated with these bigger ships, they are also causing financial burdens on the infrastructure-level to accommodate these ships.
The Benjamin Franklin, however, is slightly dwarfed by the CSCL Globe and Maersk’s Triple E, both of which are around 400 meters in length.