In December the largest container ship ever to tie up to a pier in North America arrived in the Port of Los Angeles. The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin is 1,306 feet long and can handle 18,000 TEU’s (18,000 20′ ocean containers). To put that in some kind of context, she is longer than the Empire State building is tall and she is also longer than the nuclear powered aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan. So with a capacity of 18,000 TEUs she steamed into port and was unloaded after approximately 11,200 container moves before moving on to its next port of call. This ship is just the latest in a long line of bigger and better ways to handle cargo on the high seas which has changed over the centuries. The major difference over time, and the key that unlocked a boom in this modern version of cargo ships, was the standardization of the shipping containers that allowed for faster loading and unloading, less damage and more efficient use of space. To continue reading click here.