Maersk to acquire KGH Customs Services

A.P. Moller – Maersk will acquire Sweden-based KGH Customs Services for 2.6 billion Swedish crowns ($281 million), the company announced Monday.

KGH specializes in trade and customs management services in Europe across multiple freight modes. The deal adds to Maersk’s service offerings as the carrier looks to expand beyond ocean shipping and position itself as a full-service supply chain solutions provider.

“There are no end-to-end solutions without customs clearance,” Vincent Clerc, CEO of ocean and logistics at A.P. Moller – Maersk, said in a statement. “With KGH, we will not only be able to strengthen our capabilities within customs services and related consultancy, but also reach more of our customers in Europe through a larger geographical footprint and digital solutions that will enhance our ability to meet our customers´ end-to-end supply chain needs.”

Maersk has been open about its ambitions to expand its business into other parts of the supply chain, positing its logistics sector growth as a main business objective.

“Focus remains on developing our end-to-end offering through an even stronger Ocean product while expanding and scaling our logistics and services portfolio,” Maersk wrote in its latest annual report.

Maersk began outlining its end-to-end ambitions in 2016 and has taken multiple steps toward realizing its goal in the form of deals and reorganization. Last year, Maersk closed a deal to acquire the New Jersey-based customs broker Vandegrift. And in 2018, it announced plans to merge its operations with Damco.

Maersk sees its ocean business as the “strong foundation” for the rest of its logistics offerings, and new products will be important in adding to its end-to-end logistics offerings, the company explained in its latest annual report.

“The next phase in the strategy is about growing the business by innovating existing products combined with selling landside logistics products to our existing customers – as well as growth in our Terminals & Towage business,” the annual report reads.

Maersk has specifically said M&A would be one tool it would use to achieve its end-to-end initiative, highlighting landside logistics as one space where deals could happen in its annual report. And when the company brought on a new CFO, Patrick Jany, earlier this year, it specifically highlighted his experience with M&A.

Last year, Maersk became the first ocean carrier to offer digital ocean customs clearance, according to a press release. The offering allows shippers to upload declaration paperwork and the carrier can send a notification when the shipment clears customs, according to a video explaining the offering.

Source: 24/7 Customs Broker News, 6 July 2020

What is a bill of lading and why isn’t a digital format industry standard?

The bill of lading is believed to be the most important transport document in international trade: a mainstay of the global supply chain that’s present from origin to destination and critical to customs clearancefinancing and ownership of cargo.

But for as much as shipping has changed over the decades, not much about the bill of lading (BL) has. Today, it’s pretty much the same often-paper, always-time-consuming document it ever was.

That’s why driving an eBill standard is largely considered the Holy Grail of global trade. Succeed in that, and partners up and down the supply chain would benefit from the days and weeks that paper BLs add to the process as they are printed, pouched, messengered, lost, found and waited upon.

It’s ironic because there isn’t a single aspect of the BL that couldn’t be done better digitally. To demonstrate, let’s dive into the essence of these documents and the challenges that remain to making them digital.

How does an original paper bill of lading work?

Once the vessel departs, an original BL can be issued by the ocean carrier. After the shipper endorses the original bill, it is couriered to the buyer who then needs to surrender it back to the carrier at destination as part of the cargo release process.

It sounds simple enough, but along the way the BL impacts many other processes and actions. Even before issuance, the time-consuming process from a shipping instruction to the issuance of a verified BL, many iterations and changes can occur to get the BL into an approved state.  

The BL, and its critical data fields are required for customs clearance, letter of credit, change of title and other processes. One delay in any of these can result in costly extra charges.  

The functions of a bill of lading were made to be done electronically

In oftentimes convoluted international shipments, the BL is the legal go-to document that facilitates negotiation, lending and risk reduction by performing three key functions:

1. It is evidence of a contract of carriage

2. It confirms receipt of goods

3. It serves as the title to the goods

So, can eBill perform these functions while maintaining the integrity and legality that’s required? The P&I Clubs think so. Today’s top eBill solutions meet these challenges through rule frameworks and advanced security measures — all while providing significant cost and time savings.

eBills can play a pivotal role — and a digital role

Carriers issue the BL, but they rely on information from shippers which may change multiple times during the booking and shipper’s instruction processes. Electronic features like structured documents make creation, approval, distribution, tracking — everything — easier than paper.

This benefits not only the shippers but the carriers, buyers, sellers and banks without having the need to continue to print out paper — which defeats the purpose

Digital does the different types of bill of lading better

There are many types of BL, reflecting the complexities of international trade. Eliminating paper is only the beginning of the ways eBills can help streamline processes related to the two main categories of BL:

Sea Waybills are sometimes referred to as “Express Release.” They have a named consignee on them but are issued without any original documents that have to be presented for the release of the cargo. Non-negotiable and non-transferable, they are usually used in three cases:

  1. Intra-company shipments between divisions located in different countries
  2. Shipments when no negotiations take place between the seller and the consignee
  3. Instances when the shipper doesn’t have to submit an original BL to any party in order to secure their payment

Original BLs have different forms that all hinge on the issuance of original BL documents in some way.

· Order BLs are the most common type of BL. They enable delivery of the cargo to be made “To Order” to the bonafide holder of the BL. These types of BL are negotiable and often linked to letter of credit transactions. Often banks must verify and endorse the original BL before the cargo can be released to the buyer.

  • Straight BLs stipulate that the cargo may only be released to the specified consignee and only upon the surrender of an original BL.
  • Open BLs are negotiable and transferable. The name of the consignee can be changed with the consignee’s signature and transferred — often multiple times.

Going Digital assists in filling out the bill of lading

With shippers providing the majority of the information for a BL, completeness and correctness is crucial. eBills help guide the way. If shippers can provide bill of lading information digitally, there’s less risk of keying errors. Form fields and autofill features all speed the process and lead to time savings.

One of the challenges of going paperless with BLs from the very beginning is standards. Adhering to set data standards makes information useful for different parties within organizations and multiple supply chain partners and it enables seamless workflows from automation. Unfortunately, standards are far from being standard today.

Digital makes the information included in a BL more useful

Users look to the bill of lading as an infallible source of essential and comprehensive information like names and addresses, purchase orders or reference numbers, special delivery instructions, pickup date, description of items, packaging type, NMFC freight class and DOT hazmat designations.

eBills of lading can make this information highly transparent to supply chain partners who can use it. But like many of the benefits of eBills, this transparency hinges on adoption — if all the participants of the supply chain are rowing together digitally, it works. If not, it just makes for another manual process that may end up being even more work than paper.

With its centrality to supply chains and essentiality to digitizing global trade, it’s easy to understand why the industry has its sights set on digitizing this important document. But acceptance of the eBill remains both the goal and the greatest challenge today. That’s why getting the eBill to catch on will require successfully digitizing the entire process for eBills, too.

TradeLens, with its relationships with the world’s largest ocean carriers, is in a unique position to explore the digitization of this process at an unprecedented scale. Within an ecosystem where there’s already widespread acceptance, the potential of the eBill could finally be revealed. 

Source: Original article authored by Jeffrey Ivinski, 13 April 2020

Trade Lens – Maersk and IBM implement their jointly developed blockchain-based solution

TradeLens

Maersk and IBM have introduced their global blockchain solution TradeLens, with 94 organizations already participating. The companies announced their joint venture in January this year after collaborating on the concept since 2016.

Early adopters include more than 20 port and terminal operators across the globe, including PSA Singapore, International Container Terminal Services Inc, Patrick Terminals, Modern Terminals in Hong Kong, Port of Halifax, Port of Rotterdam, Port of Bilbao, PortConnect, PortBase and terminal operators Holt Logistics at the Port of Philadelphia. They join the global APM Terminals’ network in piloting the solution at over 230 marine gateways worldwide.

Pacific International Lines has joined Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd as global container carriers participating. Customs authorities in the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Australia and Peru are participating, along with customs brokers Ransa and Güler & Dinamik.

Participation among beneficial cargo owners has grown to include Torre Blanca / Camposol and Umit Bisiklet. Freight forwarders, transportation and logistics companies including Agility, CEVA Logistics, DAMCO, Kotahi, PLH Trucking Company, Ancotrans and WorldWide Alliance.

TradeLens uses IBM Blockchain technology built on open standards to establish a single shared view of a transaction without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality. Shippers, shipping lines, freight forwarders, port and terminal operators, inland transportation and customs authorities can interact via real-time access to shipping data ad shipping documents, including IoT and sensor data ranging from temperature control to container weight.

Using blockchain smart contracts, TradeLens enables digital collaboration across the multiple parties involved in international trade. The trade document module, released under a beta program and called ClearWay, enables importers/exporters, customs brokers, trusted third parties such as Customs, other government agencies, and NGOs to collaborate in cross-organizational business processes and information exchanges, all backed by a secure, non-repudiable audit trail.

During a 12-month trial, Maersk and IBM worked with dozens of partners to identify opportunities to prevent delays caused by documentation errors and information delays. One example demonstrated how TradeLens can reduce the transit time of a shipment of packaging materials to a production line in the U.S. by 40 percent, avoiding thousands of dollars in cost.

Through better visibility and more efficient means of communicating, some supply chain participants estimate they could reduce the steps taken to answer basic operational questions such as “where is my container” from 10 steps and five people to, with TradeLens, one step and one person.

More than 154 million shipping events have been captured on the platform, including data such as arrival times of vessels and container “gate-in,” and documents such as customs releases, commercial invoices and bills of lading. This data is growing at a rate of close to one million events per day.

TradeLens is expected to be fully commercially available by the end of this year.

Source: Maritime Executive, original article published 2018-08-09

Maersk and IBM in joint “blockchain” venture – future of the shipping industry?

International trading involves many participants all around the globe. These participants may not necessarily have the needed trust of all parties, especially at the initial stages, when newcomers join the trade. Blockchain can provide the needed trust to capture key transaction activities as immutable records, as well as storing and sharing encrypted legal and financial documents.

Visibility of transaction records and documents are tightly controlled by blockchain, permitting sharing only among entrusted and allowed parties. In this demo, IBM demonstrates how blockchain may support such an application.

The blockchain solution being built by the two companies is expected to be made available to the ocean shipping industry later this year, according to a joint statement from International Business Machines Corp and the container unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk. It would help manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers globally by digitizing the supply chain process from end to end.

This will enhance transparency and make the sharing of information among trading partners more secure.

When adopted at scale, the solution based on the Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger platform has the potential to save the industry billions of dollars, the companies said.

“Working closely with Maersk for years, we’ve long understood the challenges facing the supply chain and logistics industry and quickly recognized the opportunity for blockchain to provide massive savings when used broadly across the ocean shipping industry ecosystem,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, industry platforms, at IBM.

IBM and Maersk intend to work with a network of shippers, freight forwarders, ocean carriers, ports and customs authorities to build the new global trade digitization product, the companies said.

The product is also designed to help reduce or eliminate fraud and errors and minimize the time products spend in the transit and shipping process.

For instance, Maersk found that in 2014, just a simple shipment of refrigerated goods from East Africa to Europe can go through nearly 30 people and organizations, including more than 200 different communications among them.

The new blockchain solution would enable the real-time exchange of original supply chain transactions and documents through a digital infrastructure that connects the participants within the network, according to IBM and Maersk. Source: Reuters

Competition Commission raids shipping companies suspected of collusion

shutterstock_132894758

News 24 reports that the Competition Commission on Wednesday conducted a search and seizure operation at the premises of six cargo shipping companies operating in the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal (KZN) on suspicion of collusion and rate fixing, the body said in a statement.

“The Commission has reasonable grounds to suspect that Hamburg Sud South Africa, Maersk South Africa, Safmarine, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Pacific International Line South Africa and CMA CGM Shipping Agencies South Africa have engaged in collusive practices,” the Commission said.

The companies’ practices aimed to among other things fix the incremental rates for the shipment of cargo from Asia to South Africa, which was in contravention of the Competition Act.

According to the Commission, the search and seizure operation is conducted as part of an ongoing investigation which was initiated by the Commission based on information from a member of the public.

The companies under investigation transport cargo for import and export purposes across the globe, including South Africa. They use large metal containers as packaging crates and in-transit warehouses to store and transport general cargo such as frozen foods, garments and footwear.

The customers of these companies are mainly clearing and freight forward agents.

“South Africa is a strategic hub for the trade of goods in and out of the Southern African region. Any cartel by shipping liners in this region results in inflated prices for cargo transportation,” said Tembinkosi Bonakele, commissioner of the Competition Commission.

“Cartels of this nature increase the costs of trading in the region and render the region uncompetitive in the world markets. Such cartels have the effect of significantly derailing the economic growth of the region.”

Reuters reported that Maersk and MSC confirmed the raids and said they were cooperating with authorities. The other companies did not respond to Reuters’ requests for immediate comment.

“The fact that the SACC carries out such inspections does not mean that a company has engaged in anti-competitive behaviour,” Maersk said.

EU antitrust regulators in July accepted an offer from Maersk and 13 competitors to change their pricing practices in order to stave off possible fines. Source: News24

Nigeria – APMT’s Biggest Ever Port Investment

APM Terminals 2The Maersk-owned company APM Terminals has revealed it is investing about 14 billion kroner (US$2 billion dollars) into a new port in Bagadry, Nigeria, in what will be its biggest ever investment. The port will become the second-largest port in Africa – only surpassed by Port Said in Egypt – and is a clear signal that the Danish shipping giant’s terminal operator sees the African continent as a long-term hotbed for economic growth.

“We are currently purchasing property from the state and will start construction later this year. The port is scheduled to be completed in 2019,” David Skov, the managing director for APM Terminals in Nigeria, told Børsen business newspaper.

“Globally, it will be APM Terminal’s largest ever investment and marks a strategic shift to multi ports. It means we will supplement our own experience in container ports with the establishment of a free zone, an oil port and a bulk port, so in other words a complete port.”

APMT recently acted on its decision to invest $1.5 billion on the Port of Tema in Ghana, Africa, with the establishment of a Greenfield port outside of the existing facility and upgrades to the adjacent road network.

CSCL Globe – the World’s New Largest Containership (for now)

Worlds Largest Container ship 2Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. in Ulsan, South Korea has just named the new title-holder for the world’s largest container ship; a 19,000 TEU giant for China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) named CSCL Globe. CSCL Globe measures 400.0 m in length, 58.6 m in width and 30.5 m in-depth, and will be deployed on the Asia-Europe trade loop after being handed over to the owner later this month. The ship was ordered by CSCL back in May 2013 along with four other 19,000 TEU capacity ships for a total cost of $700 million.

The series was originally planned to carry 18,400 TEUs, but were later updated by 600 TEU. For comparison, Maersk’s Triple-E’s have a TEU capacity of 18,000 and measure 400 meters long by 59 meters wide. Maersk Line has ordered a total of 20 of the ships from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, also in South Korea, to be delivered by 2016.

Upon delivery, CSCL Globe will take over the title of world’s largest container ship from MV Maersk Maersk McKinney Moller and her Triple-E sister vessels, first delivered in July 2013. Before that, the title of was held briefly by MV CMA CMG Marco, a 16,020 TEU capacity container ship delivered to CMA CGM Group in November 2012. Source: gCaptain.com

24,000 TEU vessel on the way

[Picture: Alastair Wiper / Wired]

[Picture: Alastair Wiper / Wired]

Shipping lines such as Maersk may no longer be operating the world’s largest vessels, as new 24,000 TEU ships are said to traverse the waters soon.

David Tozer, container segment manager at Lloyd’s Register, said: “12 years ago researchers were looking at Malaccamaxes, 18,000 TEU vessels named after the Malacca Strait. People thought that this was absolutely crazy. But since then things have developed to the extent that we’ll soon see ships of 24,000 TEU. The volumes are there, so it’s going to happen.”

China Shipping Container Lines are said to be looking into 24,000 TEU vessels in order to bolster its fleet, according to Shipping Watch.

To read Port Technology’s piece on mega-ships not being the only solution, click here

David Tozer said: “We’re experiencing among our customers that the biggest carriers in front are working seriously with the giant ships and are looking into the future. They need to understand what the future is going to look like, and they need to take control and become part of it.”

Tozer went on to discuss the challenges of these larger vessels, stating: “Our job is to help people. We’ve studied the structural topics and we’ve looked into which problems these giant ships bring. First of all, there’s an insurance and safety issue where the two things are tied together.”

To take a tour of Maersk’s biggest vessel, click here

In addition to safety issues, larger vessels will carry global challenges, especially for the draft of the Suez Canal.

A process is currently underway in Germany to dredge the Elbe to make room for the new ultra-large vessels that are already sailing the world’s seas. Source: Port Technology

Art Container brings shipping into the mainstream with #ArtBoxNZ

'Gigi' by Askew One. [Image courtesy of Aquaculture NZ.]

‘Gigi’ by Askew One. [Image courtesy of Aquaculture NZ.]

Art project commissioned by Ports of Auckland and Maersk to shed light on shipping industry. A 40-foot container emblazoned with artwork by famous street artists began its journey round the world.

The Art Container began its voyage at the Port of Auckland, filled with New Zealand Greenshell mussels on board the Maersk Bratan, bound for Philadelphia.

Commissioned by shipping giants Maersk Line and the Ports of Auckland, The Art Container project plans to promote the importance of the shipping industry.

The container features designs by famous street artists’ Askew1 and Trust Me. One side of the container features a reworked version of Trust Me’s famous ‘Greetings from Aotearoa’, originally found in Ponsonby. Askew One has supplied an original piece, titled ‘Gigi’ that covers the other.

OP Columbia’s Andrew Selby said that they were proud to be part of the venture and supply the container for its first part of the voyage: “The Art Container is a great opportunity to raise awareness of container shipping and we’re delighted to start the container off on its global journey with an export shipment of Coromandel’s finest Greenshell mussels.”

According to Aquaculture NZ, the Port of Auckland came up with the idea after the BBC described container shipping as an “invisible industry which brings you 90 percent of everything”.

In an attempt to break into the public sphere, port of Auckland’s head of communication is turning to social networking site Twitter through the #ArtBoxNZ.

Whilst the container journeys the globe, people are encouraged to photograph the colourful container and share their respective images with Maersk Line and Ports of Auckland using the hashtag #ArtBoxNZ as well as #MaerskLine and #PortsofAuckland.

Given Maersk’s impressive 111,000 Twitter followers the project should be in good hands. You can also track the progress of the container by entering the container number: MNBU3380910 at the link here. Source: Port Technology

11 Million cigarettes wash up on Devonshire coast

The container ship Svendborg Maersk was battered by hurricane winds as it crossed the northern stretch of the Bay of Biscay on February 14th. Battling 30-foot waves and working through winds of 60 knots the ship arrived only to find that a large chunk of her cargo had been swept overboard. The ship was originally heading from Rotterdam to Sri Lanka.

The shipping giant initially reported that only 70 containers had been lost in the storms. However, last Wednesday this number skyrocketed to 517 – the largest recorded loss of containers overboard in a single incident. Countless more are supposed to have been damaged when six of the bays tilted over.

Maersk have suggested that almost 85 percent of the containers were empty, with the rest containing mostly dry goods and frozen meats. They also reinforced the fact that none of the containers were carrying harmful substances and that many had sunk in the turbulent seas.

Nevertheless, French authorities have been on the lookout for floating containers, which can be hugely problematic for other shipping vessels, alongside a huge environmental risk. According to New Zealand marine insurer Vero Marine, a 20-foot container can float for up to two months, whilst a 40-foot container may float up to three times longer.

Already, containers have been surfacing as far away as the coast of East Devon, United Kingdom. The 40-foot container washed up at Axmouth, near Seaton and is estimated to contain 14 tonnes of cigarettes. Police were immediately called in to cordon off the area and scare away any would-be smokers hoping to make a steal and sneak off with a portion of the 11 million cigarettes (refer to picture gallery).

As of yet, there has never been a requirement for shipping lines to report container loses to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)or any other international body. In 2011, the World Shipping Council estimated that around 675 containers were lost at sea, whilst the Through Transport Club, which insures 15 of the top 20 container lines, has suggested that the number is closer to 2,000.

However, other sources suggest that this is nowhere near the true number, with some citing as many as 10,000 lost at sea each year. Analysts have suggested that one of the reasons such loses can occur are due to the lack of accuracy when weighing containers before transit. Some shippers have been found to understate the weight of containers in order to reduce shipping costs. Such misinformation can lead to uneven strain on a vessel as it transverses the seas.

One of the most notable incidents occurred in 2007 when the MSC Napoli ran aground off the English coast, breaking up and spilling 103 containers worth of toxic cargo, polluting five miles of the South Western coast. The UK marine accident investigation board ruled that the accident was due to cargo being loaded in such a way that it exceeded the baring weight of the hull girders, resulting in a structural failure across the ship. The report concluded that if such loses are to be prevented, it is essential that containers be weighed before embarkation. Source: Port Technology

Mega ships: positive asset or terminals’ worst nightmare?

triple-e-maersk-worlds-largest-shipA Financial Times article reported Maersk’s Triple E Class (18,000 TEU) to be 26 percent more cost efficient than the current E class (15,000 TEU). – Wright, R (2011), Financial Times. ‘Big Ships: Container lines reach for scale’. Recent research into supply chain costs indicates that this is not obvious for the entire supply chain – Streng, M. (2012). Slow steaming: an economic assessment of lowering sailing speeds on a supply chain level’, Master Thesis Urban, Port and Transport Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

The capital cost per TEU moved has increased even considering the increase in slot size of newer larger vessels. Due to the increase in transportation duration, the capital costs and insurance of goods transported have gone up. Further cost increase could be accounted for in the increase in time to market. Fast moving goods (such as consumer electronics) that need longer to get from the world’s production centres to the markets is also a cost. Shipping lines are demanding ever shorter port stays in order to make the economies of scale work. The bigger the ship, the greater the cost of hours lost in port, and an increased port stay is a diseconomy of scale.  Port Technology have published the following article which should be useful for shippers, freight forwarders, port planners in better understanding the economics of international shipping and logistics – Mega ships: positive asset or terminals’ worst nightmare?.

Triple E Class Specifications - (AP Moeller/MAERSK Group)

Triple E Class Specifications – (AP Moeller/MAERSK Group) [Click to Enlarge]

As Maersk Line’s Triple E, The World’s Largest Cargo Ship, Preps For Maiden Voyage, Many Ports Can’t Handle It

5_triple-eThe world’s largest cargo ship is leaving its shipyard this week to prepare for its July 15 maiden voyage, but much of its cargo space will be under-utilized as many ports don’t have the ability unload the 20-story-high container stacks the vessel can lug between Asia and Europe.

The ship, a $185-million, 1,300-foot long behemoth with a capacity of 18,000 containers, is a gamble for the vessel’s owner, Danish group A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S. Freight, which has been so battered by the recent global economic downturn that at one point it had hundreds of cargo ships sitting idle in Singapore. The ship is so big, it’s essentially leap-frogged over many ports’ ability to off-load it when it’s at full capacity.

“We will operate it as a smaller ship for the first few months while ports upgrade their cranes,” Lars Jensen, head of Maersk Line’s Asia-Europe operations, told Dow Jones Newswires.

The problem is that ports lack gantries — those giant square-shaped cranes that slide over loaded cargo ships and pick up or drop off loaded containers — that can accommodate a fully loaded Triple E. So before Maersk can utilize the ship’s full capacity at major ports, many of those ports have to invest in upgrading, a process that could take years.

Dow Jones says 16 ports on the ship’s route are certified to handle it, but “several” lack the adequate crane ability to handle it when it’s fully loaded. So for now, the ship will have to haul less, which eats into the company’s potential profit. It will embark on its first journey on July 15 from Busan, South Korea, to Europe, after a stop at Singapore. Source: Seanews.com and International Business Times

 

Maersk Triple-E conducts sea trials

The following ship photos come courtesy via Shipspotting, where one of their faithful users caught Maersk’s first Triple-E and the world’s largest ship, the M/V Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, during her 7th day of sea trials. The photos offer a first glimpse of the Triple-E underway. Despite the iconic blue color scheme and company logo Maersk does not own her just yet. Until the sea trials are completed and the vessel has been accepted by Maersk, she is the property of the yard and is under the command of the yard’s Captain.

The enormous ship, due for launch on June 28, is the world’s biggest. A behemoth even in a world of behemoths, and the first sibling in a new fleet of 19 sisterships. The vessel will have the ability to carry 18,000 TEU containers and will weigh-in at 165,000 metric tons, the equivalent mass of all the gold ever mined.

Sheer size is her most distinguishing feature. At 400 meters, the M/V Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller, as she’ll be called, is significantly longer than any aircraft carrier or even the Titanic, and only slightly shorter than the Empire State Building is high. Standing on her bridge is like peering over the rim of the Grand Canyon. From her highest deck, shipyard workers resemble overgrown ants and officers needing to walk the bridge’s width, wing-to-wing, will wish they had packed roller skates. Sources: gCaptain.com and Shipspotting.com

Discovery Channel to air six-part series on construction of the world’s biggest container ship

Triple E - Picture courtesy: Mearsk

Triple E – Picture courtesy: Maersk

 

A TV channel is to broadcast a series of six programmes showing how the world’s largest vessels – Maersk Line’s 18,000teu Triple-E containerships were built.

Maersk has given the Discovery Channel access to every stage of the Triple-E build; from the design of the vessel’s unique hull to the construction of the enormous engines and propellers, from the environmental improvements and safety systems to the ship’s naming ceremony and maiden voyage on the Asia-Europe route.

The series will also focus on lives of some of the people involved, including the naval architect, the site team supervising the build and the captain as he prepares for the maiden voyage.

“The Triple-E is an exceptional ship, in terms of its size as well as its energy saving technology and design. We’re excited about these vessels and proud to have Discovery Channel as a partner for showing how it is built and the people and passion behind it,” says Morten Engelstoft, Chief Operating Officer, Maersk Line.

The World’s Largest Ship will air on Discovery Channel in November, but to save you waiting all that time, Maersk Line has made available a time lapse video of the building of the Triple-E, that consists of 50,000 photos taken over a three-month period. Click here to watch video clip!

How much bigger can container ships get?

Check out this superb article – click here – featured on BBC News Magazine‘s website –

What is blue, a quarter of a mile long, and taller than London’s Olympic stadium? The answer – this year’s new class of container ship, the Triple E. When it goes into service this June, it will be the largest vessel ploughing the sea. Each will contain as much steel as eight Eiffel Towers and have a capacity equivalent to 18,000 20-foot containers (TEU). If those containers were placed in Times Square in New York, they would rise above billboards, streetlights and some buildings. Or, to put it another way, they would fill more than 30 trains, each a mile long and stacked two containers high. Inside those containers, you could fit 36,000 cars or 863 million tins of baked beans.

The Triple E will not be the largest ship ever built. That accolade goes to an “ultra-large crude carrier” (ULCC) built in the 1970s, but all supertankers more than 400m (440 yards) long were scrapped years ago, some after less than a decade of service. Only a couple of shorter ULCCs are still in use. But giant container ships are still being built in large numbers – and they are still growing.

It’s 25 years since the biggest became too wide for the Panama Canal. These first “post-Panamax” ships, carrying 4,300 TEU, had roughly quarter of the capacity of the current record holder – the 16,020 TEU Marco Polo, launched in November by CMA CGM.

In the shipping industry there is already talk of a class of ship that would run aground in the Suez canal, but would just pass through another bottleneck of international trade – the Strait of Malacca, between Malaysia and Indonesia. The “Malaccamax” would carry 30,000 containers.

There are currently 163 ships on the world’s seas with a capacity over 10,000 TEU – but 120 more are on order, including Maersk’s fleet of 20 Triple Es. Source: BBC News Magazine