Do you know how large container ships that transport your cargo across the oceans? The sheer scale of container ships compared to other aspects of our daily lives can be overwhelming. What is even more impressive is how much of our cargo is transported by these giants of the marine world.
Super-large container ships
In June 2022, the Taiwanese company Evergreen Marine launched the largest container ship built under the apt name Ever Alot.
This massive vessel has a capacity of 24,004 twenty-foot equivalent units, slightly more than her slightly older sibling, Ever Ace, launched in July 2021 and former world record holder of 23,992 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit).
Ever Alot is over 1,300 feet long and 203 feet wide. If you put Ever Alot vertically, it would be taller than the Empire State Building in New York.
Ever Alot made its maiden voyage from Shanghai, where it was built, to the port of Rotterdam in August, becoming the first vessel to break the 24,000 TEU barrier.
The Ever Ace and Ever Alot vessels belong to enormous container ships or ultra-large container ships. They are so large they can barely fit through the locks of the Panama Canal.
According to Taiwan News, the Ever Ace was manufactured by South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries at approximately $150 million. China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding built the $145 million Ever Alot when it was ordered in 2019.
Ever Alot and Ever Ace vessels have service routes between Europe and the Far East. Larger ships aim to gain economies of scale and reduce the cost of container slots, allowing carriers to offer more competitive rates to shippers.
Since 2012, the average capacity of a container ship has increased from less than 3,000 TEU to approximately 4,500 TEU. Over 50 vessels of 21,000 TEU or more have been built in the past decade.
Some marine experts question the viability and financial sustainability of such large ships.
These colossal container ships require more extensive facilities and more equipment to handle them, requiring ports to pay for increased dredging, new warehouses, cranes, personnel, and more.
The USA and large vessels
Another reason why most super-large container ships serve mainly Europe and Asia is because most US ports are too small to accommodate them.
The USA has many ports, but more shipping companies need to be. Shipping company vessels are too big for most US ports.
But in recent years, some large container ships have been calling at US ports.
In 2015, the 18,000 TEU CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin called the Port of Los Angeles, becoming the largest container ship to visit a North American port. This record was eclipsed in 2020 when the MSC Anna, a 19,200 TEU vessel, called at the Port of Oakland, California.
The largest container ship bound for the US East Coast is the CMA CGM Marco Polo, a 16,022 TEU vessel that called at the ports of New York and New Jersey, Savannah, and Charleston in 2021.
Are there even bigger container vessels?
Although Ever Alot was the largest container ship in service when it was launched in August, it may have already been eclipsed by larger vessels.
On October 2022, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Group in China launched two new vessels, MSC Loreto and MSC Irina, for the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world’s largest shipping company.
Although MSC has yet to put the ships into service, Yangtze River said each vessel would have a capacity of 24,636 TEU, making them the largest container ships in the world.
Though ocean container shipping has generally slowed over the past year, MSC continues aggressively expanding its fleet.
These are remarkable facts of our life, and now you can have even more opportunities to transport your goods in the best way.
If you need cargo transportation or have many goods and want to send them to the marketplace, get in touch with PartnerTrade. Our managers provide customers with constant support, process control, and logistics optimization. You can get a decisive goal in developing your business by choosing us.