Tracking the world’s largest containerships

Ever Ace, the gargantuan vessel, operated by the Taiwan-based container shipping company Evergreen Marine, is set to travel through the Suez Canal later this month.

by Alex Wood

The Ever Ace left the UK-based port, Felixstowe, last week after dropping off thousands of containers.

The 400m-long (1,300ft) ship has a capacity for 23,992 standard containers, which is moderately more than similar-sized vessels.

The gargantuan vessel, operated by the Taiwan-based container shipping company Evergreen Marine, is set to travel through the Suez Canal later this month.

You can track all of its movements using MarineTraffic data here

Crunching the numbers on the Ever Ace: 

  • Length: 400m (1,300ft)
  • Width: 61.5m (202ft)
  • Cruising speed: 22.6 knots
  • Maximum capacity: 23,992 TEU containers
  • Built: 2021

The Ever Ace has the capacity to carry 9.6 million flat screen televisions, 2.4million washing machines, or 530 million mobile phones. 

It dwarfs the 1,250ft high Empire State Building in New York or the iconic 1,063ft high Eiffel Tower in Paris. 

If placed end-to-end, the Ever Ace’s full load of 20ft containers would tower nearly 91 miles into the sky. That’s 16 and a half times the height of Mount Everest.

It’s estimated nearly 1,400 jumbo jets would be required to fly the ship’s cargo instead of taking it by sea.

More to come 

Evergreen Group has even more ultra-large boxships on its agenda and is currently in the middle of one of the industry’s heftiest expansion programs. 

Evergreen currently has a total capacity of 1.3 million TEU. However, with the second-largest order book in the industry it is poised to jump to fifth based on total capacity. 

The line currently operates nearly 200 vessels, of which just over half are owned and the others are on charter. 

Their latest order, which was confirmed in June, is an expansion of a four ship order placed with CSSC in November 2019 for four 24,000 TEU containerships. Hudong Zhonghua is building two of the ships, including the lead ship in the class. 

Before the new order, Evergreen already had a total of 10 A-Class containerships each with a capacity of 24,000 TEU on order. 

“Evergreen will closely observe market trends and changes and adjust its strategy accordingly. This year, we will take delivery of 33 newbuildings of more than 260,000 teu, growing our capacity by 18%,” said Evergreen president Eric Hsieh 

“In the next three and a half years, 42 new ships will be delivered, adding more than 550,000 teu to our fleet.”

The Ever Given

The Ever Ace’s sister ship, the Ever Given, infamously ran aground earlier this year in the Suez Canal and was stuck in Egypt for nearly a week. 

Roughly 15% of world shipping traffic transits the Suez Canal, the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

Egypt eventually released the Ever Given after protracted negotiations and an undisclosed settlement reached between the SCA and the ship’s owners and insurers. 

It arrived in the Dutch port of Rotterdam on July 29 before also arriving in Felixstowe on Tuesday August 3. 

Exponential growth

The largest container shipping vessels have quadrupled in size during the past 25 years.

“We have seen a continuous rat race in container shipping during the past decades to build larger ships,” said Stefan Verberckmoes, senior shipping analyst at industry consultancy Alphaliner told the FT.

However, the largest container ships have now potentially reached the material limits of length. 

Stacking containers higher makes such ships more at risk of high winds. Stacking them wider, meanwhile, can increase hydrodynamic forces that make them harder to steer in tight spaces.

Alex Wood is an Account Manager at London based public relations agency, Navigate PR

Courtesy: Marine Traffic

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