When it comes to international trade, container ships become an indispensable part of the ecosystem. According to estimates by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), maritime transport accounts for around 80 percent of international trade globally. Container ships are preferred because they can carry almost everything and in huge volumes. This naturally makes them a lot cheaper than air and road transport.
Container ships have been in existence since several centuries and they have grown bigger and bigger with time. To understand their immense load carrying capabilities, here’s a quick look at some of the largest container ships in the world.
HMM Algeciras – Operated by South Korean firm Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), Algeciras class of ships can theoretically carry 228,283 tons of cargo. A total of 12 Algeciras class containers ships are currently operational. These were built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries. These ships measure 399.9 m (1,312 ft. 0 in) in length and are powered by diesel engines.
MSC Mina – This belongs to the Gülsün class of container ships that have gross tonnage of 228,741 tons. These are owned and operated by Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC), which is a Swiss-Italian international shipping company. MSC Mina and other similar ships operate in most major ports in the world. These ships were built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries.
HMM Oslo – These also belong to the Algeciras class of container ships with the only difference that their gross tonnage is higher. HMM Oslo and other similar ships have gross tonnage of 232,311 tons. Rest all dimensional aspects are the same as that of Algeciras class ships. Improvement in internal design of the ship has allowed for more cargo capacity of HMM Oslo.
MSC Gülsün – Owned and operated by MSC, MSC Gülsün was launched in 2019. At that time, it was the largest container ship in the world. It was built by Samsung Heavy Industries. Length and width of MSC Gülsün is the same as that of Algeciras class container ships. MSC Gülsün has gross tonnage of 232,618 tons, making it the second largest container ship currently operational in the world.
CMA CGM Jacques Saade – In terms of gross tonnage, the largest container ship in the world is the Jacques Saadé. These have gross tonnage of 236,583 tons. However, their actual loading capacity is lower than Algeciras class container ships. Jacques Saade container ships are operated by CMA CGM S.A., which is a French container transportation and shipping company. CMA CGM Jacques Saade ships were built by Jiangnan Shipyard and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding.