A new age of container shipping will commence next week with the launch of the world’s largest operating vessel.
Maersk's Triple E Class vessel is due to sail out of the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering yard in Okpo, South Korea, on Tuesday (2nd).
Able to hold 18,000 TEU (20-foot equivalent units) containers, the Triple E will be able to carry 11 per cent more cargo than the world’s current largest freight ship, the 16,020 TEU Marco Polo operated by French firm CMA CGM.
At 400m long, 59m wide and 73m high, the Triple E is just 3m longer and 3m wider than the company's current biggest ships, yet will be able to carry 2,500 containes more than the E class vessels.
The vessel has been built as part of Maersk's strategy to facilitate long-term trade on the AE10 shipping route between Asia and Europe and to reduce its carbon footprint.
Maersk COO Morten H. Engelstoft explained that the reasons behind the new vessel are in the name – economy of scale, efficiency and helping the environment.
Compared to a normal 13,100 (TEU) vessel, the Triple E will be 35 per cent more fuel efficient, helped by the company's decision to cap the top speed at 23 knots. Compared to the current most fuel efficient vessel, the Triple E is expected to reduce fuel consumption by around 20 per cent and also reduce CO2 emissions by the same amount.
The first official voyage of the new Triple E is scheduled for July 15. Maersk has 20 Triple E vessels on order at a cost of $190 million each.