cma cgm marco polo

CMA CGM’s Marco Polo is Now the World’s Largest Containership

Rob Almeida
Total Views: 99
November 12, 2012

The Emma Maersk and her E-class of sister containerships have had their day in the sun, but there’s now an even bigger kid on the block named Marco Polo sporting the Union Jack while speaking with a French accent.

It’s an odd combo for sure, but the Marco Polo, a new UK-flagged, 16,020 TEU containership owned by French shipping company CMA CGM began its first voyage as the world’s largest containership last week from Ningbo, China.

cma cgm marco polo
CMA CGM’s Marco Polo

Built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea, the Marco Polo is a engineering masterpiece measuring 396 meters long, 54 meters wide, with a draft of 16 meters.  By the end of next year, two more of these behemoths will be delivered, all to be named after great explorers.

Nicolas Sartini, CMA CGM Group Senior Vice President Asia-Europe Lines, declares:

“It is with great pride that the CMA CGM Group launches this new vessel, which is the largest in the world. It shows the expertise of the group’s teams, who are able to handle not only the very technical piloting of the ship but also its commercial operations. Our entire network of 400 agencies all around the world is active to ensure the successful launching of this ship.”

environmental technology marco polo cma cgm

Technology found on board the Marco Polo

In an interview last week with Jean-Baptiste Boutillier, CMA CGM’s Technology & Information Director, he explains:

The CMA CGM Marco Polo has all the very latest innovative technologies to protect the environment.

Of note is the “exhaust gas by-pass” system which can be compared to a low pressure turbo on cars and improves the engine’s fuel efficiency.

We have also fitted a ballast water treatment system. The water is filtered and passed under UV lamps to ensure that no living organism is transported in the ballast tanks to colonize the habitat of local species during rotations.

We have also modified the engines to reduce the quantity of NOx (nitrogen oxide) in the exhaust gases.

Modifications have also been made to the pipe plan to facilitate use of low sulphur MDO (diesel) in European ports.

Finally, from now on the regulation requires calculation of an energy efficiency index and sets maximum values that will gradually decrease (called EEDI or the Energy Efficiency Design Index). The target set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) by 2025 is a 30% reduction of the EEDI. The CMA CGM MARCO POLO already meets the 2025 demand with an EEDI value of 10.37, that’s 31% below the maximum value allowed.

In addition, the Marco Polo has an electronically-controlled Wärtsilä engine which reduces fuel and lube oil consumption by 3% and 25% respectively on average.   The installed engine is the smaller 11-cylinder version of the world’s largest marine engine found on board the Maersk E-class, the 14-cylinder, 80,080 kW Wärtsilä 14RT-flex96C.

pre-swirl stator dsme
A Pre-Swirl Stator® installed by DSME on an LNG carrier in 2007, image: DSME, click for larger

Vessel Particulars:

  • Deadweight Tonnage: 157,092
  • IMO number: 9454436
  • Main Engine: 68 MW (92,454 hp) Wärtsilä 11RT-Flex96c
  • Speed: 22.5 knots
  • Reefer Plugs: 1100
  • Crew 13 (room for 30)

Hydrodynamic modifications such a twisted leading edge rudder and a Pre-Swirl Stator® that straightens the water flow upstream from the propeller in order to improve its productivity. These modifications collectively reduce energy consumption by between 2 to 4%.

FAL 1 french asia line cma cgm

CMA CGM notes the Marco Polo will be operated on the French Asia Line (FAL 1) and for those of you looking to catch a glimpse of her, here’s her schedule over the next few months:

  • Hong Kong (13 nov)
  • Chiwan (13 nov)
  • Yantian (15 nov)
  • Port Kelang (19 nov)
  • Tanger (6 dec)
  • Southampton (10 dec)
  • Hamburg (12 dec)
  • Bremerhaven (14 dec)
  • Rotterdam (16 dec)
  • Zeebrugge (17 dec)
  • Le Havre (19 dec)
  • Malta (26 dec)
  • Khor Al Fakkan (5 jan)
  • Jebel Ali (7 jan)
  • Ningbo (23 jan)

About the FAL 1 route

The FAL1 operates the largest vessels of the CMA CGM fleet and offers its customers a fixed-day, weekly connection between Central and South China, the main exporting zones of the country, and Northern Europe. The direct service to Southampton and to Hamburg offers European importers the fastest transit times of the market.



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