Giant container ship to arrive in Seattle Monday

At over 1,300 feet long and nearly 180 feet wide, the biggest ship to enter American waters arrives in Seattle.

SEATTLE -- The Benjamin Franklin is the largest ship to ever call on the Port of Seattle, or any U.S. port, and it's scheduled to arrive on Monday.

The container ship Benjamin Franklin can hold 18,000 containers (as measured in 20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, which is the industry benchmark).

Not that long ago a 5,000 container ship was considered big.

The ship recently called at the Port of Long Beach, California where it unloaded 13,000 containers. That's more than two and one half times the typical ship call for the large California port.  To accommodate that, the port had to have extra truck chassis and trains ready to seep rapid movement of the containers inland.  The vessel is currently at the Port of Oakland. 

The Benjamin Franklin is more than 1,300 feet long, 177 feet wide and has a draft of 52 feet. It's owned by France based CMA CGM

Puget Sound pilots will bring the ship in -- boarding the vessel at Port Angeles and guiding it to its berth at the Port of Seattle. The Puget Sound Pilots organization has been training senior pilots, who are ship captains, in a simulator to practice safely bringing the gigantic ship into port.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance said the ship is expected to arrive at Terminal 18 at 7 a.m. Monday and the best public viewing spot is Jack Perry Park.


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