First 20,000 teu container ship hits the water

The world's first container ship with a capacity of a little over 20,000 teu has hit the water. The ship belongs to Japan's Mitsui OSK Lines, which could lose the record already this year.

The first container ship to have officially surpassed the 20,000 teu threshold in capacity has now hit the water.

Japanese carrier Mitsui OSK Lines, MOL, took the title with vessel MOL Triumph.

The ship has an official capacity of 20,170 teu and is the first in a series of six vessels of the same size being built by South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries for the Japanese carrier.

Container ships are getting gradually bigger, as increased capacity results in lower fuel and crew costs per transported container, and thus increased competitiveness for the carriers. This brings lower freight prices for customers and ultimately, the end consumers.

Maersk Line had the record for largest vessel for many years with the ship Emma Maersk of 15,000 teu, which was built in Denmark.

The carrier set a new record in 2013 when the 20 Triple-E vessels – of a little over 18,000 teu each – started to be delivered. After this, ships from CSCL (now part of Cosco Shipping) and MSC have surpassed this record, and now MOL will have the record for a spell.

But the carrier's time in first place could be short-lived, as there are ships of more than 21,000 teu set for delivery already this year – also from shipbuilder Samsung – to carrier OOCL.

Maersk Line has 11 next-generation Triple-E vessels set for delivery this year and next year. The vessels were ordered in the summer 2015 and have a capacity of 19,630 teu, but the vessels have since been upgraded to more than 20,000 teu, reported Alphaliner.

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