Ultra-large vessels that operate under slow steaming are today the most efficient containerships, consuming 50% less fuel than the average main Europe-Asia route.
Currently the largest container ship is the OOCL Hong Kong, which can carry up to 21,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU), weighs 210,890 tons, is 400 meters long. It has a width of 58.8 meters alongside a maximum draught of 15.3 meters.
A trend towards utilizing larger vessels has had a major impact on operations at ports and terminals. First and foremost, current port infrastructure is under severe pressure as larger vessels require bigger approach channels and longer berths with greater water depths.
Second, larger vessels entail fewer port calls and greater peaks at terminals, which means port infrastructure has also become insufficient. Terminals must operate with greater flexibility to handle these peaks.