Megaship arrives at Port of Los Angeles

The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin ship arriving at the Port of L.A. on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015.

The largest container ship to ever dock in North America arrived at the Port of Los Angeles Saturday morning.

The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin is 1,306 feet, which is longer than the Empire State Building, and rises out of water nearly the size of a football field. Its width matches than of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, port officials said.

The French vessel can transport 18,000 containers, which is a third more cargo than most ships at the port. It's even too big to pass through the Panama Canal.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke at the arrival.

"This ship is called the Benjamin Franklin because it embodies the relationship that has existed between our nation and France...," said Garcetti. "Here we have this great French ambassador visiting America and repaying the favor."

The ship was expected to be unloaded at the port over the next four days.

It was scheduled to return to Southern California, docking at the Port of Long Beach sometime in early 2016.

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