Container ship

At nearly 400 m (1,312 ft) from bow to stern, the largest container ships carry thousands of tonnes of cargo around the globe every day. In 2014, to celebrate the world’s largest ship at the time – the Maersk Line Triple E – LEGO released a 1,518-piece reproduction. The real thing may be more than 600 times larger, but even at this reduced scale, the model reveals just how staggeringly enormous these ships are.

Triple E

Record title: Largest container ship (former record holder)

Sea-faring vessels such as the Triple E, are among the largest structures built by humans. A number of vessels are around the 400-m (1,312-ft) mark – equivalent in length to eight Olympic-size swimming pools – but the Largest container ship by capacity is currently the OOCL Hong Kong, built by the Orient Overseas Container Line (Hong Kong) and christened on 12 May 2017. It has a registered capacity of 21,413 TEU and measures 399.87 m (1,311 ft 10 in) long. It has a beam (width) of 58.80 m (192 ft 10 in), a depth of 32.50 m (106 ft 7 in) from deck edge to keel, and a displacement – i.e., fully loaded weight – of 253,104.7 long tons (257,166 tonnes; 283,477 US tons).

Container ship up close

Record-breaking ships

In 2013, the Triple E became the Longest container ship at 399 m (1,309 ft) long. It runs on a pair of two-stroke, 32,000-kW (43,000 hp) engines that propel the ship to 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph).

Container ships now rival oil tankers for the title of longest sea-faring vessels. The Longest ship and Largest ship ever was the Mont (previously known as Seawise Giant, Happy Giant, Jahre Viking and Knock Nevis) – an ultra-large crude carrier (ULCC) that measured 458.45 m (1,504 ft). It also became the Largest ship scrapped when it was decommissioned in 2010. Not even the largest passenger ship or the longest naval vessel are as long as today’s container ships.

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