Inauguration – CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin

By Robbin Dewalt

Long Beach, California
February 19, 2016

I was fortunate enough to have been invited to this historic event.  During the ceremony, speakers consisted of the Chairman and CEO of CMA CGM Mr. Jacques R. Saade, Long Beach Mayor Dr. Robert Garcia and Port of Long Beach officials.  The inauguration was performed by the sponsor/godmother of the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin Mrs. Shelley McMillon, who is also the President and CEO of Walmart Stores, Inc.  Sponsors are considered a permanent member of the ship’s crew, and are meant to bring good luck to the ship.  After the inauguration we were treated to vessel tours of this amazing ship.  From the dock to the wheel house all aspects of the ship were very impressive.

The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin is the first vessel of its size to call a US Port including all of North America. It is equipped with the most up to date environmental technology that uses less fuel, emits less carbon dioxide, and complies with 2025 efficiency standards.

Despite being so efficient and environmentally friendly, the Benjamin Franklin boasts some impressive stats. It is longer than 4 football fields or 5.5 Airbus A380 aircraft, and is as high as a 20 story building, at 197’ tall.  It is 1306 feet long – Longer than the Aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush (332m/1090ft).  The engine is as powerful as 900 Ford Focus cars, and is coupled with a propeller to provide 21-knots thrust, equivalent to that of 11 Boeing 747-400 engines.  All of this allows the ship holds 18,000 TEU’s or 109km of containers end to end, the distance between Santa Monica, CA and Santa Barbara, CA.

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Export Tips

By Michael Capezza

The International Trade Administration of the USA’s Department of Commerce provides an invaluable internet Portal for companies both currently exporting and for those that may be aspiring to export.

The Portal can be accessed at  Upon signing in the user is exposed to a virtual bazaar of useful information:

  • Overseas market intelligence of 125 markets.
  • Government resources for financing, product classification & licensing for export, trade promotion, etc.
  • Trade Leads
  • Webinars providing basic and advanced exporting education
  • Local offices in each state of the union as well as international locations

Perhaps the best part about the Portal is that all of the information contained on the site is available at no cost to the user. In addition, the site allows the user to subscribe to specific entities of interest (such as the Small Business Administration) and receive automatic updates from each entity chosen via e-mail. This feature allows the user to remain current in each area of interest without having to remember to periodically check each entity.

Every company that is currently exporting and any company that has an interest in exporting should make a point of utilizing the Portal as a valuable resource and tool for expanding its business to overseas markets. The information is valuable and free!

It is also recommended to contact your local Export Assistance Center, for local seminars, training and information available in your area.