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Daewoo, Hyundai and Samsung battle to build the biggest ships

Triple-E naming ceremony-184
Triple-E naming ceremony (Image credit: Maersk)

Only two years ago there was the naming ceremony for the world’s largest container ship, the Maersk Triple E built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. At 398m long and with a capacity of 18,270 twenty-foot equivalent containers, the ship had its own website,

CSCL Globe in the Port of Qingdao
CSCL Globe in the Port of Qingdao (via BBC)

Two days ago, the newest largest container ship, the CSCL Globe, docked at Felixstowe in Suffolk. The vessel, built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, at 400m is longer than 4 football pitches (though that very much depends on the size of your pitch, which can be anywhere between 90m and 120m) and can carry 19,100 TEU containers, which laid end to end would stretch for 72 miles.

CSCL Globe Graphic
CSCL Globe: longer than four small-size football pitches (Source: Hutchison Port Holdings via BBC)

But the CSCL Globe will only retain its crown for 53 days, because the Daewoo-built MSC Oscar makes its commercial debut when it sets sail from Asia to Europe on 25 January. With a capacity of 19,224 TEU it comes in slightly shorter at 395m long and 59m wide – the latter a particular challenge for the cranes that are needed to load and unload it. But in the world of container ships it seems that it’s the capacity that matters, so regardless of length the Oscar seems to be acknowledged as the biggest.

The MSC Oscar nears completion
The MSC Oscar nears completion (image source: MSC)

But if you want something bigger, look no further than Samsung Heavy Industries’ floating LNG facility, Prelude, built for Shell, which comes in at 488 metres long and 74 metres wide.

The Prelude (photo credit: Korea Economic Daily

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