10 largest cargo ships in 2023
About 80% of goods are transported by cargo ships. With the economic growth and higher demand from the market, bigger ships are being built all the time. During 2022, the title of the largest cargo ship was changed three times.. With the unit used to measure cargo capacity—called the twenty-foot equivalent unit TEU—we bring you the list of the 10 largest container ships with comparison.
1. MSC Irina
Currently—as we are writing this article at the beginning of 2023—the largest container ship in the world is MSC Irina. The maximum capacity of this cargo ship is 24,346 TEU. MSC Irina belongs to the Mediterranean Shipping Company, now the biggest shipping company in the world as she surpassed MAERSK recently.
2. MSC Tessa
The second biggest cargo ship belonging to the same company is MSC Tessa. She became the biggest ship for a short period in August 2022 until its sister Irina surpassed it. Her capacity is 24,116 TEU and MSC Tessa can bear about 236 075 tons of shipping containers with cargo.
3. Ever Alot
She was the first ship to break the limit of 24,000 TEU as she overgrew her smaller sister Ever Ace. She can carry 24,004 TEU and was the largest ship for a short amount of time from June to August 2022. As we already stated, higher demand causes the production of larger ships—amongst other things such as greater climate impact, so many of them are the queens of the oceans just for a while.
4. Ever Ace
Another cargo ship from Evergreen Marine Corporation, Ever Ace first sailed in July 2021. She was built by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea and sails under the Panama flag. The maximum capacity of Ever Ace is 23,992 TEU on this 400-meter-long ship.
5. HMM Algeciras
Just a few shipping containers less than Ever Ace can carry is HMM Algeciras with her capacity being 23,964 TEU and the same length of 400 meters. Sailing under the Panama flag, she is operated by the South Korean HMM company also known as Hyundai Merchant Marine. Container ship HMM Algeciras transports cargo between East Asian and European ports.
6. HMM Oslo
Within the same operator with only 144 shipping containers less than its bigger sister, Algeciras floats HMM Oslo. From May 2020 it sails with a maximum capacity of 23,820 TEU.
7. MSC Gulsun
MSC Gulsun is operated by the Mediterranean Shipping Company. She was one of the first cargo ships able to transport 24 rows of shipping containers side by side. MSC Gulsun has a capacity of 23,756 TEU and sailed for the first time in 2019.
8. MSC Mina
Gulsun’s sister MSC Mina has a container capacity of 23,656 TEU. She is also sailing under the flag of Panama and is operated by the Mediterranean Shipping Company.
9. CMA CGM Jacques Saadé
CMA CGM Jacques Saadé is one of nine sister ships that are the biggest ships powered by LPG—Liquefied natural gas. Her capacity is 23,112 TEU and sails under the French flag operated by French container transport and shipping company CMA CGM, which is the third world’s largest container transport and shipping company. The cargo ship is named after the founder of the company and businessman Jacques Saadé.
10. OOCL Hong Kong
The first ship to surpass the 21,000 TEU mark was in 2017 OOCL Hong Kong with exactly 21,413 TEU. Operated by Orient Overseas Container Line, it serves East Asia to Northern Europe Line.