The largest container ship in the world, the Emma Maersk, can transport approximately between 13,500 and 15,200 standard, twenty-foot equivalent units (about the size of the average shipping container). This ocean faring behemoth is 397 meters long, or close to four football field lengths.
Cargo ship capacity is measured in TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units), defined as 20’x8’x8’6″ units. Different cargo ships are designed to carry different loads, most averaging between 6,000 and 18,000 TEUs. Due to canal size, there is a ceiling for cargo ship size, and thereby cargo ship load capacity – but we have not reached it yet. It’s projected that in 10 years 18,000TEU ships will be common.
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