Biggest container ship in the world
UPDATE: On June 3, 2020, HMM Algeciras became the new largest ship – more about it in this article.
The trend in sea freight is very obvious – the pressure on prices and increasing competition forces carriers to build bigger and bigger cargo ships in order to utilize the economy of scale. Not only that, but new ecological regulations support this kind of behavior as the bigger the container ships are, the less fuel consumption and CO2 production per TEU (twenty-foot-container equivalent unit) there tends to be.
Therefore, basically each year there’s a new biggest container ship. However, as of today, the biggest container ship in the world is MSC Gülsün with its whopping 23 756 TEUs in rows of 24 across. Just to give you an idea, according to MSC Gülsün’s proud owner, Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the ship is able to transport 8.35 million microwave ovens or 47 512 cars. You would need 1358 Boeing 747s or 14072 heavy trucks in order to move the same amount of cargo.
MSC Gülsün was built at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) Geoje shipyard in South Korea in July 2019, not even two years after MSC made the order in September 2017. The ship is 400 meters long and almost 62 meters wide, making it about 80 meters longer than the Eiffel tower. Its gross tonnage is 232 618 tons and draught is approximately 16 meters. The ship is registered in Panama.
Fun fact: if you used container and truck loading software EasyCargo to load all 23 756 containers, you would save 1.9 million dollars¹!
Gülsün Class Ships
¹ Based on our experience, there’s half an hour saved on average on each container load when using EasyCargo. Also, the utilization of cargo space is on average 7% higher. At a labour cost of $20/h, you’ll save $10, and at a transport cost of $1000/TEU, you’ll save $70 (7% * $1000) on each container. In total that makes 23756 * (10+70) =$1900480.