A Ship in a Class of Its Own

The Maersk McKinney Moller is a new container megaship that can carry about double what many other big cargo ships can carry. It has the largest cargo capacity of any ship yet constructed, and was the longest ship in service worldwide as of 2013. It’s 20 stories high and four football fields long. The ship was built to shuttle between Asia and northern Europe, the world’s busiest trade route. No U.S. port can yet handle a ship this size.

Maersk McKinney Moller Photo © marco schoone
Maersk McKinney Moller Photo © marco schoone

This Triple E vessel was built by South Korean Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering at a cost of approximately $185 million.  It moves 2 to 3 knots slower than others, which cuts both CO2 emissions and fuel costs – the ship’s biggest expense -by at least half.  The Maersk McKinney Moller is the first of a planned class of 20 identical vessels. During normal operations, it is manned by a crew of 19, although it has sufficient accommodation for 34 people.

The ship is named for Maersk McKinney Moller who was CEO of Maersk between 1965 and 1993. Moller was placed on the Forbes List of Billionaires as the 557th wealthiest person in the world in 2007. With an estimated fortune of US $21.6 billion, Forbes claimed he was the second richest man in Denmark.  He died in April at the age of 98 and his daughter, Ane Maersk McKinney Uggla, has taken over the role of company director.

Chistening ceremony for the Mersk McKinney Moller with Ane Maersk McKinney Uggla in center holding flowers.
Chistening ceremony for the Mersk McKinney Moller with Ane Maersk McKinney Uggla in center holding flowers.

 

Loading containers in Bremerhaven Germany Aerial Photo by Walter Rademacher
Loading containers in Bremerhaven Germany Aerial Photo by Walter Rademacher

 

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