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10 Largest Container Ships in 2023

The sequence of the largest container ships in 2023 is discussed in this article.

In 1956, once Malcolm Maclean invented the first container, the shipping business was shifted to moving cargoes through containers. With the increasing demand for container shipping, international trade is functioning effectively and efficiently.

The reason behind is the containers facilitate standardized transport as they provide common sized steel boxes or containers to shift any kind of cargo around the world. Modern-day containerization is the blooming trend.  And stowage plans are used to fully utilise containers in cargo loading. Based on recent statistics the ships which carry containers account for 90% of non-bulk cargoes.

At the beginning of the shipping industry, trade was performed using bags and boxes. Since it takes too much time for loading, unloading and sorting the cargo, most shipping companies and ports were drastically adopted containerization.

In shipping, trade ships are classified into several categories. Based on the capacity it can be identified as Feeders, Feedermax, Panamax, Post Panamax, Neo Panamax and Ultra Large Container Vessels.

Further the shipping business functions with a few giants together with the Mediterranean shipping company (MSC), APM Maersk, CMA- CGM, China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), Hapag Lioyd, and Evergreen Line. From time to time shipping operators are competing with each other to sustain the business through the introduction of high-capacity container ships to the industry.

By using the containers, the shipping industry is able to reduce huge costs in terms of less labour, protect the goods from external contact damages, fast ship and truck turnarounds and the highest standardization that can be applied for any port terminal or ship. With that, most of the ship owners are trying to make larger ships as much as possible that can carry a high capacity of containers at a time.

Therefore, this article forces on the ten largest container ships in 2023.

1. Ever Ace

10 Largest Container Ships in 2023
1st: Ever Ace
10 Largest Container Ships in 2023

With a carrying capacity of 23992 TEUs, the vessel Ever Ace is presently the biggest container ship in existence. In July 2021, she had her introductory journey.  The Ever Ace is 400m long, whereas there are two other ships that are the same size. However, this ship is wider, slightly deeper and has 24 rows of parallel containers with 61.53 m breadth.

At the time of her launch, the Ever Ace was the largest container ship in the world. This is the first of 12 container ships of such a capacity that are to be constructed for the Evergreen Marine.  Recently the Ever-Ace sailed under the Panamanian flag. Samsung Heavy Industries, a South Korea-based shipbuilder constructed this modern masterpiece with 235579 gross tonnages. The ship’s main engine has a power output of 70950 kilowatts, driving it to a cruising speed of 22.6 knots.

2. HMM Algeciras

10 Largest Container Ships in 2023
2nd: HMM Algeciras
10 Largest Container Ships in 2023

The largest container ship in the world, HMM Algeciras has fallen to second place after the Ever Ace over her in 2021. The first of twelve ships that Daewoo ship building constructed is the HMM Algeciras. The ship is operated with a capacity of 23964 TEUs and it is just less than 28 containers compared to the Ever Ace.

The HMM Algeciras also flies under the Panamanian flag and travels between East Asia and Europe on a liner service, calling at the ports like Rotterdam, Singapore and Landon Gateway. The ship operator of the ship is Evergreen and has the ability to carry a Gross tonnage of 235579. The Ever Ace is slightly over 400 meters long (399.9) and 33.2 meters feet below the surface.

This ship is considered one of twelve environmentally friendly 24000 TEU containerships and the most advanced ships in terms of technology. In order to comply with the IMO 2020 environmental regulations, the ship is primarily fully equipped with a scrubber system. Moreover, it is anticipated that improved hull design and highly effective engines will increase energy consumption and reduce the environmental impact.

3. HMM Oslo

10 Largest Container Ships in 2023
3rd: HMM Oslo
10 Largest Container Ships in 2023

Compared to her sister ship HMM Algeciras, the vessel HMM Oslo comes in a very close third. The ship was produced by Samsung Heavy Industries on the 11th of May 2020. She departed for her first voyage from South Korea to the United Kingdom while transiting the major ports including Singapore, Rotterdam and some ports in China.

This Panama flagged vessel is 400 meters long, 61.5 meters wider and has the greatest possible draft of 16.5 meters. The capacity of the HMM Oslo is 23792 TEUs, which is around 200 TEUs less than the recently largest container ship in the world. The HMM Oslo also operates under the ownership of HMM South Korea.

4. MSC Gulsun

10 Largest Container Ship in 2023
4th: MSC Gulsun
10 Largest Container Ships in 2023

The fourth largest container ship in the world is the MSC Gulsun. The Mediterranean shipping company, located in Geneva Switzerland operates this vessel under the Panamanian flag. Because of its massive 62-meter breadth, it was one of the first ships in the historical record to be able to haul 24 container rows side by side. 

The MSC Gulsun is 399.9 meters long and has a load capacity of 23756 TEUs. It was created by Samsung Heavy industries and has a Panamanian registration. The ship has a dual tower fire suppression system and is built in such a way that the higher container carrying capacity results in a smaller total carbon footprint.

MSC Gulsun was the world’s largest container ship when it launched on the 09th of March 2019, but with the presence of the above mentioned three, the MSC Gulsun was outdated and became the 4th in the list.

5. MSC Mina

10 Largest Container Ships in 2023
5th: MSC Mina
10 Largest Container Ships in 2023

The vessel MSC Mina which has a carrying capacity of 23656 TEU, comes under the container ship class Gulsun and is the sister ship of MSC Gulsun. MSC Mina is run by the Mediterranean shipping company. One of South Korea’s shipbuilders, Daewoo shipbuilding, and marine Engineering constructed this vessel. On the 18th of July 2019, she had her introductory journey.

The ship is about 400 meters long and 6 meters wide and 6.5 meters in depth. Furthermore, the MSC Mina was the biggest container ship that ever made a port visit in Thailand. In addition to the regular container types, MSC Mina has a load capacity of 2000 reefer containers, which are used to transport chilled or frozen goods.

6. CMA CGM Jacques Saadé

10 Largest Container Ships in 2023
6th: CMA CGM Jacques Saadé
10 Largest Container Ships in 2023

On September 23, 2020, CMA CGM Jacques Saadé began operations with one of the most unique designs ever seen on a container ship. She made her first voyage on the French Asia Line route. CMA CGM Jacques Saadé is the first of nine sister ships of the Jacques Saadé family, constructed by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation.

The ship is propelled by liquefied natural gas with 400 meters in length,61 meters in width and 78 meters in height. Also, it has a carrying capacity of 23000 TEUs. She operates on the French Asia Line and is the biggest container ship to sail under the French flag.

CMA CGM Jacques Saadé is owned by the French container shipping and transport firm CMA CGM group. Due to her 18 600 cubic meters fuel tank, the ship was able to accommodate a roundtrip from Northern Europe to South East Asia.

7. OOCL Hong Kong

10 Largest Container Ships in 2023
7th: OOCL Hong Kong
10 Largest Container Ships in 2023

Like the other ships on the list OOCL Hong Kong was the biggest container ship when it was delivered in 2017 and now it becomes the seventh largest container ship in the world. She was created by the shipyard of Samsung Heavy industries, and it is the largest of the six G class ships produced with a length of 399.87 meters and a breadth of 58.8 meters. She has a capacity of 21413 TEUs.

This ship is the lead container ship of the G class vessel constructed for the shipping company Orient overseas container line (OOCL) . The flag of the nation is flown by OOCL Hong Kong, which has its headquarters in the port of Hong Kong.  The OOCL Hong Kong provides services for the Suez Canal based East Asia to Northern Europe Line.

8. COSCO Shipping Universe

10 Largest Container Ships in 2023
8th: COSCO Shipping Universe
10 Largest Container Ships in 2023

The first of six ships of the universe class, the COSCO Shipping Universe is the biggest cargo ship in China with a carrying capacity of 21237 TEUs. She is 58.6 meters in width and 400 meters in length. The ship was constructed by China Ocean Shipping Limited in 2018 and is currently operated under the Hong Kong flag.

Most importantly the ship is outfitted with ABB Turbochargers for optimum performance and improved fuel efficiency which empowers it to reach a top speed of 22 nautical miles per hour. The COSCO Shipping Universe and her sisters are the part of the 21st-century maritime silk route, which travels via the South China sea and the Indian ocean to connect China with Europe and Africa. Additionally, this is the flagship of the one belt one road initiatives of China.

9. CMA CGM Antoine De Saint Exupery

10 Largest Container Ships in 2023
9th: CMA CGM Antoine De Saint Exupery
10 Largest Container Ships in 2023

The ship CMA CGM Antoine De Saint Exupery is constructed by the Philippines based Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction company.  It is the biggest container ship to fly the French flag with a carrying capacity of 20954 TEUs. She got her name Antoine De Saint Exupery in honour of the French writer and aviator.

The ship was launched in 2017 and put into service in February 2018. Recently the ship used the French Asia Line 1 (FAL-1), the longest sea route connecting Asia and Northern Europe.  The dead weight of the CMA CGM Antoine De Saint Exupery is 202684 MT and it is 400 meters long and 59 meters wide.

It is a green vessel with a new generation engine and a Beaker twisted fin ensuring considerable reduction in oil consumption and carbon dioxide emission. In addition to that, to safeguard the marine species, she has also created a system of filters and UV Lamps to treat and purify her ballast water.

10. Madrid Maersk

10 Largest Container Ships in 2023
10th : Madrid Maersk
10 Largest Container Ships in 2023

The final ship of the largest top ten container ships in the world is Madrid Maersk. Although this ship is at the end of the list, when she was first launched, she was indeed the second ship to exceed the 20000 TEU capacity barrier resulting in significant achievement for the shipping industry. The Madrid Maersk is the major ship of the Maersk’s second-generation Triple E class (Economy of scale, energy efficiency, environmental impact improving) of container ships which also consists of 11 similar container ships.

This ship was constructed by the South Korean Daewoo shipbuilding. Madrid Maersk was delivered in April 2017 and set out on her first trip the following month. The Chinese port of Tianjin served as her first seaport. The Madrid Maersk flies the Denmark flag and is owned by the Danish shipping company Maersk Line.

Despite the ship’s 19630 TEU, the official capacity classification, the Maersk Line was able to effectively change the design and facilitate to accommodate 20 568 TEU at a time and has a gross tonnage of 2128 gross tons. Further, the Madrid Maersk has a length of 399 meters, a width of 58.6 meters and a draft of 16.5 meters.

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