Biggest container ship to visit US enters San Francisco Bay as it heads to Port of Oakland

SAN FRANCISCO – The largest container ship to visit the U.S. has passed under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco en route to the Port of Oakland.

The megaship named the Benjamin Franklin set sail from China earlier this month, with a stop in Los Angeles after Christmas. It cleared the famous bridge Thursday with about 20 feet (6 metres) of space to spare.

The megaship can hold up to 18,000 shipping containers. The largest ships serving the U.S. can carry 14,000 containers.

The Franklin’s visit to Oakland is considered a trial run. Officials want to ensure that the vessel can be berthed and cargo discharged efficiently.

The megaship is expected to set sail for China on Sunday.