Largest Container Ship in the World: 20,170 TEU MOL TRIUMPH

MOL (Mitsui O.S.K Lines), a global shipping company, recently announced the launch of MOL Triumph, the world’s largest container ship.

The Japanese shipping company took delivery of the mammoth vessel on 27th March, 2017 from shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.

With a length of 400 metres, beam of 58.8 metres & depth of 32.8 metres, the ship can carry 20,170 TEU (Twenty Footers) containers. Registered under the under the flag of the gross tonnage of the vessel is 210678 tons whereas the summer dead weight is 197500 tons.

The vessel boasts of advanced technologies which aim at reducing emissions & increasing efficiency such as low friction underwater paint, high efficiency propeller & rudder, Savor Stator as a stream fin on the hull body, & an optimized fine hull form which together, further reduces the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per container moved by 25-30% as compared to other 14,000 TEU-class container ships. The vessel has also been designed with the retrofit option to convert to LNG fueled ship in view of the implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s new regulation to limit SOx emission in marine fuels which will come into effect in 2020.

The vessel is deployed on THE Alliance’s Asia to Europe trade via the FE2 service. The ports of call in order are Xingang,Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Yantian,Singapore, after crossing Suez Canal,Tangier, Southampton, Hamburg, Rotterdam and Le Havre. On return voyage to Asia, ports of call would also include Jebel Ali.

The Japanese shipping company has placed order for 6 vessels of the 20,000 TEU class. The second vessel is slated to be delivered in May 2017.

The 20,000 TEU class ships will provide additional tonnage (carrying capacity) & benefits of economies of scale to the THE Alliance. However, the benefits from these mammoth ships can only be attained if the ships are able to sail at full / near-full capacity.

In past few years, the economic slow down in China & overall stemmed economic global growth has lead to reduction in demand for tonnage whereas the supply of tonnage as increased due to addition of large scale container vessels by shipping lines in their fleets. As a result, the freight rates have dropped to all time low & shipping companies are relying on cost cutting measures to survive the turbulent times.

As BIMCO suggests, improving fundamental market balance of demand & supply of tonnage is crucial for the shipping lines to survive. Careful management of deployed capacity (tonnage) by the individual operators is of utmost importance if recovery of the maritime industry is to be expected. Scrapping of old tonnage is equally important to reduce the excess tonnage present in global shipping.

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