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.
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.
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.
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.