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Top 10: The largest container ships in the world

Container ships play a vital role in the distribution of goods around the world. With the largest of them having a capacity of approximately 24,000TEU, they facilitate the smooth flow of the supply chain across oceans and continents.

In the following list, we have included the largest container vessels in the world in terms of carrying capacity calculated in TEU.

  1. Ever Ace - 23,992TEU
Gross Tonnage: 235,579
Length: 399.9 meters
Beam: 61.5 meters
Draught: 16.5 meters
Flag: Panama


Operated by the Taiwanese container shipping company Evergreen Line, the world's largest container ship is a new building that was launched earlier in July 2021, as part of a series of six 24,000TEU vessels, surpassing slightly its predecessor HMM Algeciras by 28TEU.

Constructed by South Korean shipyard Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) for approximately US$150 million, Ever Ace made its maiden call from China to the Port of Hamburg in August, carrying 21,718TEU which is a record for container transport in a single trip.

Its sisters Ever Aim and Ever Act are also already in service, while Ever Arm, Ever Alp and Ever Art are currently being constructed and they are expected to be delivered to Evergreen's fleet by 2022.

2. HMM Algeciras - 23,964TEU

Gross Tonnage: 228,283
Length: 399.9 meters
Beam: 61 meters
Draught: 12.3 meters
Flag: Panama


The construction of the second-largest boxship in the world by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in Korea, was completed last year in April. One month later, the mega vessel, loaded with 19,621TEU, started its inaugural voyage from China to reach Europe with the first port call in Rotterdam.

HMM Algeciras, which is operated by the South Korean carrier HMM, is the first vessel of its series including HMM Copenhagen, HMM Dublin, HMM Gdansk, HMM Hamburg, HMM Le Havre and HMM Helsinki which have the same container capacity.

3. HMM Oslo - 23,820TEU

Gross Tonnage: 232,311
Length: 399.9 meters
Beam: 61.5 meters
Draught: 13.5 meters
Flag: Panama


HMM Oslo, together with its sister ships HMM Rotterdam, HMM Stockholm, HMM Southampton and HMM St Petersburg, is part of the 12-Algeciras class container ships, differing only in the capacity space by 144ΤEU. Already in service, they were constructed by SHI and they were added to the HMM's fleet in 2020.

The last of HMM’s twelve 24,000TEU container ships, HMM St Petersburg, departed from the Chinese Port of Yantian on September 2020 to set sail on its maiden voyage for Europe with 19,529TEU onboard.

All of the aforementioned HMM vessels are basically equipped with a scrubber system in preparation for IMO 2020 environmental regulation, comprising an optimised hull design and highly-efficient engines.

4. MSC Gulsun - 23,756TEU

Gross Tonnage: 232,618
Length: 399.9 meters
Beam: 61.5 meters
Draught: 13.4 meters
Flag: Panama


Built in 2019 at the SHI Geoje shipyard in South Korea, MSC Gulsun constitutes the first of the Gulsun-class ships. The boxship reached Europe for the first time in August of last year. It owns a carrying capacity of 23,756TEU, the same as its sisters MSC Samar, MSC Mia, MSC Febe, MSC Leni and MSC Ambra.

The Gulsun class also involves another ten container ships which were constructed at DSME, with MSC Mina, MSC Isabella, MSC Arina and MSC Sixin having a fewer capacity of 100TEU from the aforementioned Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCV).

The rest of them, MSC Michelle, MSC Nela, MSC Apolline and MSC Amelia have 23,782TEU capacity, while MSC Diletta and MSC Allegra which were deployed by the Geneva-based carrier earlier in 2021, can accommodate 23,936TEU, according to MSC's data.

The 23,000TEU class vessels have eco-friendly features such as an IMO-approved hybrid exhaust gas cleaning system and they produce lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit, with the option of switching to low-sulphur fuel or to be adapted for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the future.

5. CMA CGM Jacques Saadé - 23,112TEU

Gross Tonnage: 236,583
Length: 400 meters
Beam: 61 meters
Draught: 16 meters
Flag: France


Taken its name from the Founding President of the French Group, CMA CGM Jacques Saadé is the first 23,000TEU class container ship in history to be powered by liquefied natural gas.

The ship was the first of its series to be laid down in July 2018 at the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) shipyard in Shanghai, entering into operation two years later, in September 2020 when it joined the French Asia Line 1 (FAL1) service, one of the longest sea routes in the world connecting Asia to Northern Europe.

All of its sister-vessels, CMA CGM Champs Elysées, CMA CGM Palais Royal, CMA CGM Louvre, CMA CGM Rivoli, CMA CGM Montmartre, CMA CGM Concorde, CMA CGM Trocadero and CMA CGM Sorbonne, have gotten their names from landmark Parisian monuments, as well as venues and institutions. The final vessel in the series, CMA CGM Sorbonne, joined the company's fleet earlier in July.

6. OOCL Hong Kong - 21,413TEU

Gross Tonnage: 210,890
Length: 399.87 meters
Beam: 58.8 meters
Draught: 16 meters
Flag: Hong Kong


Owned by the Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), the vessel is currently the sixth-largest container ship globally and the first vessel in the world that surpassed the 21,000TEU mark.

Built in SHI shipyard, OOCL Hong Kong was delivered in the OOCL's fleet in 2017 as the first of its series which includes OOCL Germany, OOCL Japan, OOCL Scandinavia, OOCL United Kingdom and OOCL Indonesia. It started serving in the Asia-Europe trade lane on the LL1 service.

7. COSCO Shipping Universe - 21,237TEU

Gross Tonnage: 215,553
Length: 399.9 meters
Beam: 58.6 meters
Draught: 14.8 meters
Flag: Hong Kong


COSCO Shipping Universe, which is the first of the six 21,000TEU class vessels, has broken the record for China’s largest boxship. Its construction was completed in June 2018 by Jiangnan Shipyard Group in Shanghai for the Chinese shipping giant, COSCO.

One month later, during its maiden voyage, the mega vessel called European ports and started operating the liner service along the maritime Silk Road between Europe and Asia.

Equipped with ABB turbochargers, COSCO Shipping Universe and its sisters COSCO Shipping Nebula, COSCO Shipping Galaxy, COSCO Shipping Star, COSCO Shipping Planet and COSCO Shipping Solar achieve optimal performance and fuel efficiency for sustainable shipping, according to the Chinese shipping company.

8. CMA CGM Antoine de Saint Exupery - 20,954TEU

Tonnage: 219,277
Length: 400 meters
Beam: 59 meters
Draught: 15.8 meters
Flag: Malta


CMA CGM's 20,000TEU-class boxship, Antoine de Saint Exupery entered into service in February 2018 on the FAL1 trade line.

The container vessel was inaugurated at Le Havre by Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of Economy and Finance and Elisabeth Borne, Minister in charge of Transports.

This was the first vessel of the series, including CMA CGM Jean Mermoz and CMA CGM Louis Bleriot, which were built by Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Philippines with technologically advanced engines that reduce CO2 emissions.

9. Madrid Maersk - 20,568TEU

Gross Tonnage: 214,286
Lenght: 399 meters
Beam: 58.6 meters
Draught: 13.7 meters
Flag: Denmark


The first of a series of 11 second-generation Triple-E, Madrid Maersk was delivered to the Danish carrier in 2017 and was deployed on Maersk's Asia – Europe service network in the same year.

On 27 April 2017, Maersk's largest container ship made its first call at the Chinese port of Tianjin during its maiden voyage.

Vessels of the same series are Munich Maersk, Moscow Maersk, Milan Maersk, Monaco Maersk, Marseille Maersk, Manchester Maersk, Murcia Maersk, Manila Maersk, Mumbai Maersk and Maastricht Maersk, all of which were constructed between 2017 and 2019.

10. MOL Truth - 20,182TEU

Gross Tonnage: 210,691
Length: 400 meters
Beam: 58.5 meters
Draught: 12.2 meters
Flag: Panama


Built by Imabari Shipbuilding Co. Ltd, MOL Truth is the fifth and largest ship of its series, as well as the largest container ship ever built in Japan, along with MOL Treasure, which is the sixth and final vessel in the series.

The remaining ones, MOL Tribute, MOL Triumph, MOL Trust and MOL Tradition that were delivered by Samsung Heavy Industries in the Japanese shipping line in 2017 have a capacity of 20,170TEU. All of them were deployed by Ocean Network Express (ONE) to serve Asia-Northern Europe services, which are parts of THE Alliance's network.

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