The world’s largest con­tain­er ship, the CMA CGM Mar­co Polo runs the Pacif­ic route to Europe. There are 4,000 con­tain­ers of goods on board, des­tined for busi­ness­es and shops just in time for Christ­mas. The ship is only par­tial­ly loaded. At its full capac­i­ty, the CMA CGM Mar­co Polo can trans­port 16,000 con­tain­ers, but then it will be unable to nav­i­gate the waters of the Elbe Riv­er between the North Sea and Europe’s sec­ond largest port of Ham­burg, which are too shal­low for the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of super con­tain­er ships.

largest container ship

We have already writ­ten about the largest car­go ships in the world, now we will con­tin­ue this list with the Mar­co Polo con­tain­er ship. At 396 meters long and 54 meters wide, the Mar­co Polo is larg­er than a US Navy air­craft car­ri­er and longer than four foot­ball fields. It is the largest con­tain­er ship in the world.

Marco Polo
Since 1952, every ship approach­ing the mouth of the Riv­er Elbe has been cer­e­mo­ni­al­ly greet­ed by the low­er­ing of the Ham­burg flag and the rais­ing of the inter­na­tion­al flag, there­by wish­ing good voy­age. The greet­ing was repeat­ed for those who left Ham­burg. Some­times ships retal­i­ate by low­er­ing their flag or giv­ing a spe­cial sig­nal.

The largest ships are greet­ed with an even more solemn rit­u­al upon their arrival and depar­ture from Ger­man ter­ri­to­r­i­al waters: in addi­tion to the flag cer­e­mo­ny, the nation­al anthem of the coun­try under which the ship is reg­is­tered is played. In the case of the arrival of Mar­co Polo, that was exact­ly what hap­pened. Scores of ship­ping enthu­si­asts and spec­ta­tors braved the cold weath­er and filled the water­front to watch the giant con­tain­er ship dock on Dec. 12.

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New con­tain­er ships such as the CMA CGM Mar­co Polo are not only impres­sive in size, but also run on sophis­ti­cat­ed envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly tech­nol­o­gy. The CMA CGM has spe­cial sys­tems that improve the hydro­dy­nam­ics of the ves­sel and reduce ener­gy con­sump­tion and CO2 emis­sions. Its engine con­sumes on aver­age 3 per­cent less fuel and 25 per­cent less oil. Its fuel tanks are dou­ble-hulled to pre­vent oil leak­age in the event of a dis­as­ter. The case is opti­mized to reduce pow­er con­sump­tion. A new chem­i­cal-free water purifi­ca­tion sys­tem is used that pro­tects marine ecosys­tems.

The CMA CGM Mar­co Polo won’t be the world’s largest con­tain­er ship for too long. Maer­sk Triple is cur­rent­ly under con­struc­tion and sched­uled for launch next sum­mer and can car­ry 18,000 con­tain­ers at once.

Con­tin­ue read­ing also about the largest cruise ships in the world.