EMMA MAERSK, new designs would be even bigger than this monster. (Photo: Wikipedia/Henrik K)
New designs on the world's biggest container ships
Behemoths would dwarf current giants and be the longest merchant ships...
STX Shipbuilding of South Korea said in a press release that they have designed what are the world's biggest ever container ships.
If the ships come to fruition, they will in fact be the longest ships, at 450 metres, operating on the high seas. The world's longest ship is currently the KNOCK NEVIS, at 458 metres, but she is now permanently moored in the Persian Gulf as a floating oil storage facility.
The new designs (there are two, one with a single propellor the other with twin propellors) will carry an astonishing 22,000 TEUs. Currently the largest container ships, the eight vessels of the EMMA MAERSK class, are designed as 13,500 TEU ships. These ships, which are giants at the moment, have a length of 397 metres.
(To put this into some perspective for those who still think in terms of feet - as this writer does!- the familiar QE2 is 963 feet long, the new STX designs are 1476 feet long!)
"The 22,000 TEU marks a breakthrough in the sense that the 20,000 TEU was once considered as the limit of a container ship can get in terms of its transport capacity both in terms of technology and economy." said STX.
Despite the carrying capacity of the new ships, STX say they will 'fit most major world ports'.
The drive to bigger ships, carrying more containers ever more efficiently, is driven largely by the price of fuel, STX say that these new vessels would cut the shipping price per container by 40%. A massive saving for exporters.