In the world of global trade and logistics, cargo ships are the unsung heroes that transport goods across the oceans, linking manufacturers, suppliers, and consumers worldwide. As trade volumes continue to grow, so does the demand for larger and more efficient vessels. In this article, we will explore the ten largest cargo ships in the world in 2023 (as an update to a list we already did in 2021) and their significance in the supply chain.
This is currently the largest container ship in the world, with a capacity of 24,346 TEU. Her maiden voyage was in April 2023 from Guangzhou Port in China. MSC Irina is measured to be 1,312ft in length, 200ft wide and is the first of six ships that will be built by Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Group. Although similar size to other container ships in operation, the MSC Irina has the capacity to stack up to twenty-six 20-foot shipping containers deep.
See where the MSC Irina is right now.
This ship was built by Nantong COSCO KHI Ship engineering Co and was launched in 2023. She is 399.9 metres long and 61.3 metres wide, with a capacity of 24,188 TEU. This scale makes her the first of OOCL’s vessels to surpass the 24,000 TEU limit. This vessel is the first ship with a TEU capacity of over 24,000 to make her maiden voyage off the Hong Kong Port. She was deployed on the Asia-Europe Service LL2 and can carry up to 235,341 tonnes. The American Bureau of Shipping awarded the OOCL Spain ‘Smart Ship’ notations due to her use of the latest intelligent technology that optimises overall operations and fuel efficiency when sailing.
See where the OOCL Spain is right now.
Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding designed MSC Tessa which is the first of four containerships from the series. She carries a total of 24,116 TEU and is the equivalent length shy of four AFL ovals, totalling 399.9 metres long and 61.5 metres wide. This vessel was built with a hybrid scrubber, large diameter propellers, energy saving ducts and air lubrication to reduce drag and total energy consumption. This will mean she requires less fuel consumption and optimised EEDI energy efficiency.
See where the MSC Tessa is right now.
Measuring at 400 metres long and 61.5 metres wide, the Ever Alot exceeds her sister ship, Ever Ace with a TEU capacity of 24,004. She uses the latest hydrodynamic optimisation technology to achieve higher speeds and less fuel. She is now the largest of the seven in the Evergreen A class and is soon to be followed by Ever Aria once completed which will be a 24,000 TEU capacity ship when completed.
See where the Ever Alot is right now.
The Ever Ace has a 20-foot shipping container capacity of 23,992 TEU. There are two other ships that are the same length as the Ever Ace, at 400m long (1,300ft). However, the Ever Ace is wider, at 61.5m (202ft) and slightly deeper. Her maiden voyage was in July 2021 and at the time of her launch, Ever Ace held the world record for the largest container ship. It is the first of 12 planned container ships of this size, built for Evergreen Marine. It currently sails under the Panama flag.
See where the Ever Ace is right now.
The HMM Algeciras is the first of twelve vessels which will be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding. The HMM Algeciras has a haulage capacity of 23,964 TEUs, just 28 containers less than the Ever Ace. The vessel sails under the Panama flag as well and is just shy of 400 metres long (399.9), and has a depth of 33.2m. The liner service this vessel takes is between East Asia and Europe, with ports including Rotterdam, London Gateway, Singapore and Qingdao.
See where the HMM Algeciras is right now.
This ship runs a very close third to her sister ship, the HMM Algeciras. She set sail in 2020 on the 11th May. HMM Oslo is 399.9 metres long and 61.50 metres wide with a carrying capacity of 23,756 TEU, 172 TEU less than the HMM Algeciras. She was built by Samsung Heavy Industries and currently runs under a Panama flag.
See where the HMM Oslo is right now.
This big container ship runs under a Panama flag and is operated by the Mediterranean Shipping Company, based in Geneva, Switzerland. When it launched in 2019, it was the largest container ship in the world, but it has been superseded since then. She is almost 62 metres wide and 400 metres long, with a carrying capacity of 23,756 TEU. She was one of the first vessels able to transport 24 container rows side-by-side. This was due to her massive girth.
See where the MSC Gulsun is right now.
The ship is a sister of the MSC Gulsun and has a carrying capacity of 23,656 TEU. The MSC Mina is 400 metres in length and 61 metres wide. This vessel was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, which are one of the ‘Big Three’ shipbuilders of South Korea. She was delivered to the Mediterranean Shipping Company on the 18th July, 2019.
See where the MSC Mina is right now.
CMA CGM Jacques Saade
This mighty vessel, in one of the more interesting liveries of all container ships, entered operation on the 23rd of September 2020. She is the first of 9 sister ships that will be the biggest vessels powered by LPG-Liquefied natural gas. She has a carrying capacity of 23,000 TEU, is 400 metres long, 61 metres wide and 78 metres high. She is the largest container ship to sail under the French flag and services the French-Asia Line route.
See where the CMA CGM Jacques Saade is right now.
The world’s largest cargo ships are technological marvels that facilitate the global flow of goods. As the supply chain continues to evolve and expand, these vessels play a pivotal role in meeting the demands of modern commerce and ensuring that products reach consumers worldwide efficiently and reliably. Their size and efficiency are a testament to human ingenuity and the interconnectedness of the global economy.