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Croatian Captain at the Helm of Largest Container Ship Ever to Visit North America

MV CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin (photo/Ports of Los Angeles)

MV CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin (photo/Ports of Los Angeles)

The largest container ship ever to visit North America recently arrived at the port of Los Angeles…

The 398-meter, 18,000 TEU capacity MV CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, which is one of the world’s largest container ships, is captained by Croatian Velibor Krpan.

Krpan has experience in handling Ultra Large Container Vessels as he was previously at the helm of Marco Polo, which at 396-metres long was previously the world’s largest container ship.

“When I was 22 I became a cadet at the Croatian company Croatia Lines from Rijeka. I continued my career on ships with one German company, and in 2002 I joined the team at CMA CGM, who own the world’s largest container ships,” Krpan told GCaptain in an earlier interview.

“At the time I never dreamed I would become the captain of the world’s largest ship of that kind. It is longer and wider than any other ship in the float and sailing and berthing it takes a lot of concentration. Thanks to the navigation system, there is not too much difference than with other ships, but you have to be quick to adapt to the new technology on this ship,” said Krpan.

Captain Velibor Krpan (photo/screenshot)

Captain Velibor Krpan (photo/screenshot)

The arrival of the Benjamin Franklin just after Christmas marked the first time a ship of this size had been used in North America – previous routes for a ship this large were only from Asia to Northern Europe. The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin is about a third larger than the biggest container ships that currently southern California.

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