Thursday, November 11, 2010

Maersk's giant container ships for Walmart's imports into the USA from China

This ship Emma Maersk is the world's largest and one of eight sisters. She is one of the ships used by WalMart to bring their goods from China -- where 91% of Walmart's goods are made -- to the USA. Two more ships are to be completed in 2012. They each hold 15,000 containers and have a 207 ft (63 metre) deck beam. The full crew is just 13 people on a ship longer than a US Navy aircraft carrier (which has a crew of 5,000).

The ships' beam (breadth at widest point) mean they are too big to fit through the Panama Canal and barely able to manage the Suez Canal. With a cruise speed officially of 26 knots, unofficially of 31 knots, goods can arrive 4 days before the typical container ship (18-20 knots) on a China-to-California run, thus are hugely competitive even when carrying perishable goods. Emma Mærsk is powered by a Wärtsilä-Sulzer 14RTFLEX96-C engine, currently the world's largest single diesel unit, weighing 2,300 tons and capable of 109,000 horsepower (82 MW) when burning 1,660 gallons of heavy fuel oil per hour.

The Emma Maersk was built in five sections. The sections were floated together and then welded.

The command bridge is higher than a 10-story building. Eleven cargo crane rigs can operate simultaneously unloading the entire ship in less than two hours.

Additional details:-

Country where built - Denmark
Built - 2006
Home port - Taarbæk, Denmark
Length - 397 metres (1,302 ft)
Beam - 56 m (184 ft)
Deck beam - 64 m (207 ft)
Draught - 15.5 m (51 ft)
Depth: 30 m (98 ft) (deck edge to keel)
Gross register tonnage - 170,000
Cargo capacity - 15,000 TEU - record set in May 2010 (1 TEU = 20 cubic feet)
Construction cost - $US 145 million+

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