10 World’s Biggest Container Ships in 2017

Note: The list reflects data as on the date of the article published. 

The international shipping industry holds a significant role in the world of trade, fulfilling around 90% of the movement of goods worldwide. According to the International Chamber of Shipping, more than 50,000 merchant ships- bulk carriers, tankers, and container ships- are currently involved in the business, transporting various types of cargos on daily basis. In fact, the entry of more containership to the market has changed the pattern of global trade over the past few decades tremendously.

The containerships, as the name suggests, are vessels built specifically to hold huge quantities of cargo compacted in different types of containers. The containerships are categorised into different types according to its length and carrying capacity etc. At present, there are seven types of containerships in service worldwide, including small feeder, feeder, feedermax, Panamax, Post-Panamax, New Panamax and ultra-large Panamax. With a carrying capacity of more than Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU), the modern containerships have radically redefined the freight transport by the sea. Here we have a list of the world’s largest containerships, ranked in terms of their TEU capacity and length, among others in 2017.

1. OOCL Hong Kong

OOCL Hong Kong, the newest container ship in the fleet of the Chinese shipping firm Orient Overseas Container Line, popularly known as OOCL, stands first in the list of world’s biggest container ships. This 399.87 meters -long Ultra Large Container Vessel (ULCV), the first ship to cross the 21,000 mark, has a carrying capacity at 21,413 TEU.

Constructed by the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) shipyard, the 197,317-DWT OOCL Hong Kong measures 58.8 meters in breadth and 32.5 meters in depth. The vessel was delivered in May this year. According to OOCL, OOCL Hong Kong will be serving the Asia-Europe trade lane under the flag of Hong Kong.

2. Madrid Maersk

Danish shipping giant Maersk Line’s latest vessel, Madrid Maersk, claimed the record of biggest containership in the world until the arrival of OOCL Hong Kong. Earlier, Madrid Maersk had surpassed MOL Triumph in the list when it cruised for the first time in April this year. Built by the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering shipyard, this Triple-E class vessel has the capacity of 20,568 TEUs.

Being the second container vessel to cross the 20,000 TEU mark, Madrid Maersk has the capacity to carry 23 rows of containers across the deck. With a deadweight Tonnage of 192,672MT Madrid Maersk measures 399 meters in length and 58.8 meters in breadth. Madrid Maersk is reportedly equipped with highly advanced and facilities and offer the retrofit option for the future conversion to LNG-fueled ship.

3. MOL Triumph

MOL Triumph, owned by Japanese shipping operator Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, now sits third in the row after claiming the record of world’s largest cargo ship for a few weeks earlier. The 400 meters-long TEU-class container ship has a maximum cargo capacity of 20,170 TEU. Constructed by Samsung Heavy Industries n South Korea, MOL Triumph was the first vessel of MOL in its fleet of six 20,000 TEU-class vessels. While measures 58.8m in width and 32.8m in depth, the deadweight of the box ship is 192,672 DWT.

The vessel made its maiden voyage in April this year and now operates between Asia to Europe through the FE2 service. Powered by the MAN B&W G95ME, the vessel is capable of cruising at a maximum speed of 24.0 kts.

4. MSC Diana

Mediterranean Shipping Company’s MSC Diana measures 399.999 meters in length 58.80 meters in breadth, 30.20 meters in the draught. This Pegasus-class container ship, with a dead weight of 197708.00 tonnes, has a carrying capacity of 19462 TEU.

Launched in 2016, MSC Diana was constructed by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea. The vessel is currently sailing under the flag of Liberia.

5. MSC Ingy

MSC Ingy, another Pegasus-class container ship of Mediterranean Shipping Company, has an overall length of 399.990 meters and carrying capacity of 19462 TEU. This Liberia-flagged vessel measures 58.80 meters in breadth, 23.31 meters in draught and a dead weight of 201869 tonnes.

The vessel was launched by Samsung Heavy Industries in April 2016. The home port of MSC Ingy is Monrovia in Liberia.

6. MSC Eloane

The 399.990 meters-long MSC Eloane shares similar features with its sister vessels built by Samsung Heavy Industries for Mediterranean Shipping Company. This Pegasus-class container ship measures 58.80 meters in breadth and 31.31 meters in the draught.

With a dead weight of 201869, MSC Eloane also has a carrying capacity of 19462 TEU. Launched in 2016, MSC Eloane is currently sailing under the flag of Liberia.

7. MSC Mirjam

The 399.990 meter-long MSC Mirjam is another latest Pegasus-class container ship in the fleet of Mediterranean Shipping Company. MSC Mirjam measures 58.80 meters in breadth and 23.31 meters in the draught. The Liberia-flagged vessel has a carrying capacity of 19462 TEU. Powered by MAN B&W 11G95ME-C9.5 two-stroke type engine, the average cruising speed of the vessel is 14.7 knots, while the maximum speed MSC Mirjam is 22.3 knots.

8. MSC Rifaya

Delivered this year, MSC Rifaya measures 399.990 meters in length, 58.80 meters in breadth and 23.31 meters in the draught. With a reported dead weight of 196000 tonnes, this DNV-GL class vessel has a capacity of 19462 TEU. Similar to other Pegasus-class container ships of Mediterranean Shipping Company, the vessel is currently sailing under the flag of Liberia.

9. MSC Leanne

MSC Leanne, one of the latest ships in the fleet of Mediterranean Shipping Company, has a length of 399.990 meters, breadth of 58.80 meters and draught of 30.20 meters.

The 172785.00 deadweight tonne MSC Leanne has a carrying capacity of 19462 TEU. Built by Samsung Heavy Industries, this Pegasus-class vessel is currently sailing under the flag of Liberia.

10. MSC Jade

Launched in 2016, MSC Jade sits last in the list of world’s ten biggest container ships. This Liberia-flagged vessel measures 398.400 meters in length, 59.00 meters in breadth and 30.30 meters in the draught. The 199000.00 tonnes deadweight vessel has a cargo capacity of 19224 TEU.

The MAN B&W 11G95ME-C9.5 two-stroke type engine powered MSC Jade was delivered by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in May last year.

References: oocl.com, maerskline.com, mol.co.jp, msc.com

Disclaimer: The authors’ views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader.

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  1. Hi, this is Deepak Mangal Yadav from india(mumbai) Very nice my dream job is to work in cargo ship or oil tanker I try many time to search office in mumbai but I could not get it so I join cruise ship I I got a 3 year of experience but in mess boy if u have any vacancies in the cargo please please let me know

  2. The more bigger ship running on the water road, the more US navy demands to secure the merchant ships. Bigger ship reduce the cost per unit.

  3. Good work and well done for servicing the globe with easy access transportation and information.

  4. Great post but i want to know how does the container weight gets factored in the DWT? if we take ship number 9. DWT 172,785 and a container gross weight would be around 25-26 ton this will be higher than the DWT or do you avarage the weight on all containers?

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