Something that most of humanity has in common is that drive to create and build, and when we build we want to build bigger and better than those who built before us.
That’s why architects compete in an unofficial race for the title of the biggest building, tallest skyscraper and the likes, and it appears that the shipping industry is no different.
The size and scale of transport by sea has continued to grow at a rapidly rising rate. As such the title of ‘biggest cargo ship’ has been passed around quite frequently over the years.
It’s no wonder with ships like the Madrid Maersk, coming in at 20 568 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) and weighing 192 672 metric tons (MT).
Yeah, TEU is the important measurement here, and used to illustrate a ship’s cargo carrying capacity.
Madrid Maersk took first place away from MOL Triumph, the 400 metre-long container ship with a maximum cargo capacity of 20 170 TEU.
However, neither of these ships come close to the current reigning champion, which took the top spot in 2017 and has held it ever since – the OOCL Hong Kong.
Here’s Champion Freight:
With a DWT (deadweight tonnage) of 191,317 metric tons, the OOCL Hong Kong has a cargo capacity of 21,413 TEU, making it the world’s largest container ship. The latter is an important statistic to note, as it is the TEU that determines title honours, not its length or beam.
Case in point, the CMA CGM Antoine de Saint Exupery is marginally longer than the OOCL Hong Kong (by just 13 cm), measuring a whopping 400 metres in length. That’s about the size of four football pitches placed end-to-end.
In other words, it’s a very, very big ship. check out her specs:
To be profitable, the OOCL Hong Kong has to be operational at all times to support pricey maintenance overheads.
Look at her go:
Container ships have tripled in size since the 1950s, but let’s get real, there are more important things than size.
Moving cargo from origin to destination may seem simple enough, but when faced with the myriad factors that need to be considered – like route optimisation, currency cover, tariff determination, Customs regulations, packaging requirements, marine insurance…
I’ll stop there – you get the idea. This stuff is complicated.
Berry & Donaldson, one of South Africa’s largest privately owned logistics companies, has been helping importers and exporters navigate the labyrinth that is international freighting for over half a century.
They keep it simple. If you’re a client, Berry & Donaldson take the hassle and worry away, so that you can focus on running your business.
Think of them as your personal logistics department.
Check out their website for more info on how to get your precious cargo from point A to point B, hassle-free.
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