By Robert Wright, Transport Correspondent, Financial Times
Near the waterline inside the Maersk Beaumont lies the main reason why this new container ship is set to spend at least the rest of this year unused on a Scottish sea loch.
Twelve cylinders, whose linings alone weigh eight tonnes each, sit ready to accelerate the ship to speeds of nearly 30 knots (55kph). They make the Beaumont and her six sister ships, built to rush Chinese goods to the US east coast, the world’s fastest modern container vessels. But fuel consumption is nearly as high as on the world’s largest container ships, which carry three times as much cargo.