Friday 19th February 2016 will remain a historical date for the CMA CGM Group and for the U.S. maritime industry. Indeed, 600 guests gathered to attend the inauguration of this giant of the sea.
A red carpet led to a hospitality marquee, set up with red white and blue decorations, complementing that of France and the U.S.
The ceremony began in front of prominent American figures from economic, industrial, institutional and political backgrounds. Both the French and American national anthems were ceremonially sung in Capella in front of a standing assembly. Each holding their hand on their heart out of respect.
During his speech, Jacques Saadé, CMA CGM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, declared “We look forward to developing the shipping business between the United States, the Far East and Europe.” He explained how he discovered the existence of the container during an internship in the U.S. He concluded his speech with the following sentence,
“We have the vessels. You have the cargo. Let’s work together!”
before a standing ovation by the whole crowd.
The Presidents of both the Terminal and the Port Administration Council along with the Mayor of Long Beach followed on stage and paid tribute to Jacques Saadé and his visionary talents. They also congratulated him on choosing to name this ship after Benjamin Franklin, a strong symbol of Franco-American friendship.
The traditional champagne bottle was released. The CMA CGM BENJAMIN FRANKLIN was officially inaugurated!
Confetti and music closed this beautiful day, rich in emotions and memorable moments.
A long queue of several hundred meters was created as guests boarded the largest vessel ever to call at a U.S. port, proud of her success!
Watch the video of the inauguration!