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Biggest Container Ship to Visit U.S. Barely Clears Golden Gate Bridge

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.

Image: The largest container ship to ever make port in North America unloads
The largest container ship to ever make port in North America unloads cargo in the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, California on Dec. 26. The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, which was built in China, is 1,300 feet long, 177 feet wide and is 197 feet tall and is staffed with a crew of 26. The ship can carry 18,000 20-foot containers, about 4,000 more than the biggest containers ships to previously visit the U.S. Scott Varley / The Daily Breeze via AP

The nearly quarter-mile-long megaship named the Benjamin Franklin set sail from China earlier this month and made a stop in Los Angeles after Christmas. It cleared the famous bridge Thursday with about 20 feet of space to spare.

The megaship can hold up to 18,000 20-foot shipping containers. The largest ships serving the U.S. can carry 14,000 containers.

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

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