If there is a need to transport huge cargo, or just large volumes of cargo over long distances, cargo ships are ideal for this, despite the fact that they are extremely slow. Thousands of cargo ships plow the seas and oceans every year, providing the largest turnover of goods and goods for international trade. There are also special lift cargo ships specially designed for very large bulky cargo such as drilling rigs, or anything else so big and heavy that it can’t be transported on a normal ship.
We have already written about the largest cruise ships, now we will tell you about the giants in the world of cargo transportation. As a rule, such ships use a special platform that can submerge in water, allowing you to comfortably load an oil platform or other vessels on it. As soon as the loading is completed, the deck rises and is ready to transport the cargo anywhere in the world.
The first heavyweight ship was the MV Lichtenfels, built in 1920 by Hansa. Currently, the largest fleet of such ships belongs to Dockwise, which operates 19 heavy lift vessels of various types and sizes. The main clients of the company are representatives of the oil industry. Throughout its history, a huge number of platforms and towers have already been transported from the construction site to the production sites. This method of transportation is about 3–4 times faster than a self-deploying drilling rig can move.
In 2004, the Blue Marlin transported the world’s largest oil platform and 60,000 tonne drilling rig over 15,000 nautical miles from Korea to Texas.
Many vessels in this class are owned by Dockwise, including the three giants Mighty Servant 1, MV Blue Marlin, and MV Black Marlin. The company is currently building another heavyweight ship that will have 70% more deck space than the current largest Blue Marlin. The new vessel will be capable of lifting up to 110,000 tons of cargo and transporting it at a speed of 14 knots.
In the photo below, the Dockwise ship Swan is loading another ship onto the platform:
And here is Dockwise Tern in the process of loading an oil platform:
Dockwise Black Marlin and another oil platform:
The platform of the MV Blue Marlin ship is being submerged in preparation for loading:
MV Blue Marlin transporting a warship after she received torpedo damage:
Blue Marlin and oil platform already loaded for transport
The scope and scale of such ships are simply amazing, let’s just admire these giants and the cargo they transport:
Read also about the largest ship propellers in our separate selection