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Top 21 World’s Largest Container Ships In the World

Last updated on July 22nd, 2021

Humans have always strived to build the biggest, largest and fastest ships. So, today we will be telling you about the largest container ships in the world.

Container ships are cargo ships that are exclusively used for the carriage of truck-size intermodal containers. The capacity of a container ship is expressed in TEU that is twenty-foot equivalent units. The ship’s deadweight will determine the total number of containers it can carry.

Container ships are broadly classified into seven categories depending on the size:

a) Small feeder
b) Feeder
c) Feedermax
d) Panamax
e) Post-Panamax
f) New Panamax
g) Ultra-large

Out of the different kinds of ships, container ships play an important role as they help in transporting cargo over long distances. The following are some of the largest container ships in the world today. The article only lists the large container ships of the world which are still in function. The world has seen a lot of large and amazing ships that are now not operational anymore.

Top Largest Container Ships In The World

1) HMM Algeciras

HMM Algeciras is the largest container ship worldwide. Its maximum capacity is prescribed as slightly more 20 foot containers than its predecessor MSC GULSUN: 23,964 TEU versus 23,756 TEU. It is 400 meters long and 61 meters wide. Its owner is Hyundai Merchant Marine. This Panama flagged vessel was recently launched for the South Korean shipping company HMM. It has recently entered service via Suez Canal. It has also made its debut as the largest ship in the world. It cost the Korean company $140 million to purchase and launch the ship. It also makes every possible effort for being environment-friendly such as its optimized hull design and a highly efficient engine which is expected to improve its energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

HMM Algeciras

HMM Algeciras | Pic courtesy: https://flickr.com/photos/68359921@N08/49969576438

2) HMM Oslo

HMM Oslo is South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine’s second 24,000 TEU ship (23,820 TEU to be exact). This container ship was built in 2020. It sails under the flag of Panama. It is constructed by Samsung Heavy Industries. Its dimensions are 400 meters in length and 61.50 meters in breadth.

HMM Oslo

HMM Oslo | Pic courtesy: https://flickr.com/photos/68359921@N08/50401588153

3) MSC Gulsun

MSC Gulsun is another product of Samsung Heavy Industries. It was constructed in Geoje shipyard in South Korea. The total capacity of this ship is over 23,756 TEU. Its speed is described as 21 knots per hour. It is classified as DNV GL. Its dimensions are 399.9 meters in length and 61.5 meters in breadth and 33.2 meters in depth. It runs on traditional marine fuel although there is an option to operate it using low-Sulphur fuel. It can never be run using LNG or dual fuel. Its double hull protection, dual-tower fire fighting system, and state-of-the-art lashing system add to its safety. It is operated by the Mediterranean Shipping Company.

MSC Gulsun

MSC Gulsun | Pic courtesy: MSC Gulsun

4) MSC Mina

MSC Mina is one of the largest container ships in the world. It made its maiden call at Hutchison Ports Thailand in the Leam Chamang port situated in Thailand on 30 July 2020. This ship is owned by MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company’s latest and biggest Gülsün-Class of 23,000+ TEU ships that had been delivered and deployed into MSC’s global shipping network in 2019 and 2020.

It has a capacity of 23,656 TEU. It is the largest container ship to belong in Thailand. Its dimensions are 400 meters in length and 61 meters in breadth. The ship is capable of transporting an equivalent of about 384 million pairs of shoes or 47,312 cars at the same time. Apart from this, the vessel is capable of carrying more than 2000 refrigerated containers which boost their trading process.

MSC Mina

MSC Mina | Pic courtesy: logistics-manager.com

5) CMA CGM Jacques Saade

This one is the world’s largest liquefied natural gas-powered container ship. It has a capacity of 23,000 containers.  CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE is a clear demonstration of the CMA CGM Group’s commitment to energy transition in the shipping industry.

It is named after the founder of CMA CGM, ‘Jacques Saade’. It was launched in September 2019. It was built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding. Its dimensions are 399.9 meters in length and 61.3 meters in breadth. It is the world’s first 23,000 TEU to be powered by LNG. It runs proudly under the French flag.

CMA CGM Jacques Saade

CMA CGM Jacques Saade

6) OOCL Hong Kong

OOCL Hong Kong was the largest container ship ever built at the time it delivered in 2017. It sails under the flag of Hong Kong. Its dimensions are 399.87 meters in length and 58.8 meters in breadth. This engineering marvel was produced by the firm Orient Overseas Container Lines.

It has a capacity of 21,000 TEU. This one is just another product of the Samsung Heavy Industries, Geoge Shipyard. It is the lead ship of the G-class series.

It is the third ship in the world to have crossed the 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent units. mark. It was also the first ship ever to cross the 21,000 twenty-foot equivalent units. It was built at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard. It was delivered in May 2017.

This ship is also one of the most widely known ships in the world. The ship and its sisters operate on various trade routes all over the world. These are mostly from Eastern Asia to North Europe.

This route includes Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen, Yantian, Singapore, via Suez Canal, Felixstowe, Rotterdam, Gdansk, Wilhelmshaven, Felixstowe, via Suez Canal, Singapore, Yantian, and Shanghai. The ship has a length of 399 m, a beam of 58.8 meters, a draught of 16 m, and a depth of 32.5 m.

This is to date one of the mightiest ships ever built with some of the biggest capacities. It can still not match the massiveness of the Knock Nevis which was the largest ship ever built by mankind. The sister ships of the OOCL Hong Kong include the OOCL Japan, the OOCL Germany, the OOCL Scandinavia, the OOCL Indonesia, and the OOCL United Kingdom.

OOCL Hong Kong

OOCL Hong Kong

7) COSCO Shipping Universe

This one has a capacity of 21,237 TEU. It is the largest cargo ship in China. Its dimensions are 400 meters in length and 58.6 meters in breadth. It was built in 2018 by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). However, it was transferred to China Ocean Shipping Company Limited (COSCO) later on. The ship is equipped with ABB Turbochargers which results in high operational flexibility, and reliability. It also grants the ship fuel efficiency and helps it to achieve a maximum speed of 22 nautical miles per hour. It sails under the flag of Hong Kong.

COSCO Shipping Universe

COSCO Shipping Universe | Pic courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/68359921@N08/42737154485/

8) CMA CGM Antoine De Saint Exupery

It is a cargo – Hazard A (major) ship. Its dimensions are 400 meters in length and 59 meters in breadth. It is named after the French author Antoine De Saint Exupery. It was built by the Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction, Philippines. It can carry up to 20,954 TEU. It is the largest container ship to sail under the French flag. It is an environmentally friendly vessel.

CMA CGM Antoine De Saint Exupery

CMA CGM Antoine De Saint Exupery | Pic courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/68359921@N08/40052804365/

9) Madrid Maersk

The Madrid Maersk was built in the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering shipyard. It is owned by the Maersk Line. It was delivered in 2017. It is the second ship in the world to have ever crossed the 20-foot equivalent unit capacity of 20,000 after MOL Triumph. Port of Tianjin in China was the first port of the ship on its maiden voyage.

It was the largest container ship at its time of launch but it was surpassed by the OOCL Hong Kong. Madrid Maersk has a capacity of 20,568 TEUs. Its dimensions are 399 meters in length and 58.6 meters in breadth. This cargo ship was the first of the eleven Second Generation Maersk Triple E-class containers.

It is the first of the 27 new ships that the company plans to build in order to replace the old ones in its fleet. The project is expected to be completed in the year 2019.

Madrid Maersk

Madrid Maersk

10) Ever Golden

This one sail under the flag of Panama. Its dimensions are 400 meters in length and 59 meters in breadth. It was built by Imabari Shipbuilding, Saijo shipyard in 2018. It has an effective draught of 12 meters, but lacks in speed, with the maximum recorded speed being 11.4 nautical miles per hour.

Ever Golden

Ever Golden| Pic courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/28169156@N03/47406249582

11) MOL Truth

It is operated by the famous Ocean Network Express (ONE) group of Japan. It proudly carries the flag of Panama. It is yet another product of Imabari Shipbuilding Company Limited. Its dimensions are 400 meters in length and 58.5 meters in breadth. It has a capacity of 20,182 TEU. It is a part of ‘The Alliance’. It is equipped with a variety of advanced technologies such as low-friction hull paint, a high-efficiency propeller and PBCF (*2), a high-efficiency engine plant, and optimized hull shape, which help it in reducing its environmental impact by reduction of CO2 emissions by up to 30%.

MOL TRUTH

MOL TRUTH | Pic courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/68359921@N08/25541939848/

12) MOL Triumph

If we are talking about the largest container ships in the world then we certainly cannot ignore this behemoth. MOL Triumph is a container ship that was built in 2017. It is the seventh-largest container ship in the world today. It was built by Samsung Heavy Industries in Geoje, South Korea. It is known to be the world’s first 20,000 TEU class container ship.

It has a capacity of 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent units. It is also the first ship in the world to have this capacity. It was built for Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, a Japanese shipping operator. The ship was named on 15th March 2017. There are five sister ships to this ship that will be delivered soon.

The ship is 400 m in length. It has a beam of 58.8 meters, a draft of 16 m, and a depth of 32.8 m. Its maximum capacity is 20,170 TEU. Triumph’s main engine is the MAN B&W G95ME, with a maximum output power of 82,440 kW.

There are various different technologies used in the ship which help in the reduction of pollution and the conservation of energy. The ship mainly takes trade routes of Asia and Europe.

MOL Triumph

MOL Triumph

13) COSCO Shipping Taurus

This one sails under the flag of Hong Kong. It has a capacity of 20,119 TEU. Its dimensions are 399.82 meters in length and 58.72 meters in breadth. It is operated by the China Ocean Shipping Company Limited (COSCO). The ship was built by Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding in 2018.

COSCO Shipping Taurus

COSCO Shipping Taurus | Pic courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/68359921@N08/46746054882/

14) MV Barzan

MV Barzan is a large container ship built for the United Arab Shipping Company or the UASC. It belongs to the DNV GL class. It was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Mopko, South Korea in 2015. The construction of the ship was completed in 2015 and it was named in the same year. It is considered one of the largest container ships in the world today. The ship took nearly 6 months to build. It has a length of 400 m with a capacity of 18,800 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units). The ship has a deadweight of 199,744 tonnes. It has a beam of 58.6 meters.

The ship was designed in a way that would allow it to save energy and reduce carbon emissions. According to the builder of the ship MV Barzan has the lowest levels of carbon emission per container.

The crew of the ship is multinational and only consists of 35 members. Most of its roots are in Asia and Europe. This includes North China, South China, Central China, Southeast Asia, and European ports like London Gateway, Rotterdam, Hamburg, and Zeebrugge.

MV Barzan

MV Barzan

15) MSC Diana

It was built for the Mediterranean Shipping Company. It is 399.9 meters long and 58.8 meters in breadth and 30.2 meters in draught. It has a capacity of 19,462 TEU. It was built by Samsung Shipbuilding and Heavy Industries. It sails under the flag of Liberia.

MSC Diana

MSC Diana| Pic courtesy: https://commons.wikimedia.org/

Other Largest Container Ships In The World

Here is the list of other behemoths that sail the oceans with pride.

16) CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin

CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin is a container ship that was built for the French company CMA CGM or Maritime Freighting Company – General Maritime Company. It is considered one of the largest container ships in the world today. The ship was delivered in November of 2015.

It is a cargo vessel with a capacity of nearly 18000 twenty-foot equivalent units. As the name suggests the ship was named after the founder of the United States of America Benjamin Franklin. It has a length of nearly 400 m and a beam of 54 m. It also has a height of 60 m. Most of its routes are in Asia and northern Europe.

However, it arrived at the Port of Long Beach in December 2015 making the first ship of its size to have been used in North America. The ship was designed in such a way that it meets the goals of its company to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and protect biodiversity.

The company became successful in this initiative by reducing the emission of carbon dioxide by nearly 50% in 10 years. As the ship is controlled electronically the use of oil and other fuels has also been significantly reduced.

CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin - Largest container ships

CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin

17) MSC Oscar

The MSC Oscar is a large container ship that was named in January 2015. It was considered as the largest container ship of the world at the time of its construction, surpassing the CSCL Globe. It is owned and operated by the Mediterranean Shipping Company. The ship has been named after the son of the president of the Mediterranean shipping company. The ship was constructed in a total of 11 months. It is 395 m in length and has a beam of 59 m.

It has a capacity of 19,224 twenty-foot equivalent units. It has a crew of a maximum of 35 people. The cost of the ship was 140 million dollars. The ship mainly operates in the east-west trade routes in the regions of Asia and Europe. It completed its maiden voyage and March of 2015. It is designed in such a way that it emits a lot less carbon dioxide.

As the ship is large in size and can carry a lot of goods, it reduces or rather eliminates the need to make multiple container ships and thus helps in saving fuel. The ship also uses cargo storage space efficiently and provides extra flexibility for the loading of other extra goods on board.

MSC Oscar

MSC Oscar

18) Prelude FLNG

The Prelude FLNG is considered one of the largest container ships in the world today. The FLNG in the ship stands for Floating Liquefied Natural Gas. It is the largest ship ever built of its kind i.e it is the world’s largest offshore facility ever made. The ship was built for a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell, KOGAS, and Inpex. It was built in South Korea by the Technip / Samsung Consortium (TSC).

The ship has a length of 488 meters and a width of 74 m. More than 260,000 tonnes of steel were required to build the ship. When it is fully loaded it is capable of displacing 600,000 tonnes. The ship was launched in 2013 while its construction began in October 2012.

The ship is estimated to be costing something between 10.8 to 12.6 billion US Dollars. The life expectancy of the ship is about 25 years. Bishop also has been designed and so strong that it could survive a category 5 cyclone.

Prelude FLNG

Prelude FLNG

19) Emma Maersk

Emma Maersk is one of the oldest and largest container ships which is still in service. It is owned by the A. P. Moller-Maersk Group. It was built by a company called the Odense Steel Shipyard Ltd. based in Denmark. The ship has been named after Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller’s late wife. Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller was an important figure in the company which owns the ship. It was launched in 2006 and at that time was the largest container ship ever built. In the year 2010, the Emma Maersk and her sister ships were some of the longest container ships in the world.

This ship is capable of carrying 11,000 to 14,700 twenty-foot equivalent units. The ship has a length of 397 m, a beam of 56 meters, a draught of 16 meters, and a depth of 30 meters. It is capable of occupying up to 30 crew members. Some large ships including the Emma Maersk were highly criticized for burning a lot of bunker fuel.

 Emma Maersk

Emma Maersk

20) CMA CGM Vasco De Gama

The CMA CGM Vasco de Gama was built for the French company CMA CGM or Maritime Freighting Company – General Maritime Company. It is an explorer class container ship. Explorer class container ships are a series of ships built for the same company. There is a total of 8 ships in the explorer class container ship series. It has been named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama. It was built by the Shanghai Jiangnan Changxing Heavy Industry in China. It has been in service since 2015.

It has a length of 399.2 meters, a depth of 29.9 meters, a beam of 54 meters, and a draft of 16 meters. It was initially planned that the ship would be named after Benjamin Franklin what was later decided to name after Vasco da Gama.

Another ship called the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin was later launched in the same year and it was owned by the same company. The ship was delivered in July 2015. It has a capacity of 17,859 twenty-foot equivalent units.

CMA CGM Vasco De Gama

CMA CGM Vasco De Gama

Also read: What Are TI Class Supertankers?

21) Madison Maersk

The Madison Maersk is a very large container vessel or a VLCV. It is one of the largest ships built of its kind. It is also considered as one of the largest container ships in the world. It was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in South Korea in the year 2014. It is owned by the Ap Moller Maersk. It was ordered along with its sister ships which include Matz Maersk, Mayview Maersk, Marstal Maersk, Magleby Maersk, and Maribo Maersk.

The ship has a capacity of 18,270 twenty-foot equivalent units. It has a length of 400 m and a beam of 59 meters. It also has a draught of 15.5 meters.

Madison Maersk

Madison Maersk

We hope you like our list of the largest container ships in the world. We will continue to update it!

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