World’s Largest Ship Commences Maiden Voyage

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 18
July 15, 2013

The M/V Mærsk McKinney-Møller. Image courtesy Maersk Line.

The world’s largest ship, the MV Mærsk McKinney-Møller, officially entered service today after commencing its maiden voyage in Busan, South Korea, Denmark’s Maersk Line has announced.

The ship is the first of 20 in Maersk Line’s new class of Triple-E containerships. At 400 meters long (1,312′) and an 18,000 TEU capacity, the ship is currently the largest in the world and the largest containership ever built. The vessel was constructed by the DSME shipyard in Okpo, South Korea and was delivered to the company in early July.

SEE ALSO: Mærsk McKinney-Møller – Meet the World’s Largest Ship

The ship will set sail below capacity -averaging 14,000 TEUs at first- since many port gantries aren’t tall enough to handle a full load, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In late September, the second vessel in the Triple-E series will be arriving in Copenhagen, Denmark, where Maersk Line will host a public viewing and a multi-media exhibition about the vessel.


The Triple-E is a unique class of containerships currently being built at the DSME shipyard in Okpo, South Korea, and will be delivered to Maersk Line over the next two years.

The “E” in Triple-E refers to the main design characteristics of these ships: economy of scale, energy efficiency and environmentally improved performance.

The 20 Triple-E vessels will operate in a loop on the world’s busiest trade lane, carrying cargo between eight ports in Asia and six in Europe (Busan, Kwangyang, Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tanjung Pelepas, Tangiers, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Gdansk, Aarhus, and Gothenburg). Maersk Line says the new Triple-E’s will be gradually phased in to this route over the next two years, replacing smaller and less efficient vessels.

The MV Mærsk McKinney-Møller was expected to call at Busan New Port today at 1100hrs.

Recent Containership Incidents

The vessel’s maiden voyage comes amid growing controversy over the safety of these massive containerships -and more specifically their cargo- following recent incidents such as the MOL Comfort (8,000 TEU) and MSC Flamania (6,750 TEU).

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