The world’s biggest container ship, MSC Irina, entered service. It is the biggest container ship in terms of TEU capacity – over 24,300. The ultra-large vessel is one of many ordered by MSC.
MSC Irina was built in 2023 and put into service the same year. The ship is sailing under the flag of Liberia. It is the first of six ships that will be built by the Chinese Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Group. The vessel can carry more than 24,300 standard 20-foot shipping containers stacked up to 26 deep. Moreover, the ship will emit 3-4% less carbon compared to similar vessels.
Work began on the MSC Irina in November 2021, with dock assembly beginning the following year in June. It was floated for the first time on August 10 and floated out on October 29. In February 2023, MSC Irina undertook her sea trials and then went to the Zhejiang Zhoushan Shipyard for final work before it was set for delivery in early March.
The vessel’s first ocean-crossing journey is set from Qingdao to Busan, back to China, and then to Singapore, Italy, and Spain (via the Suez Canal). On its way back, it will call at the ports in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
MSC Irina – data
- Deadweight: 240,000 DWT
- TEU: 24,346
- Length: 399.9 meters (1,312 feet)
- Beam: 61.3 meters (201.1 feet)
In fact, it is similar in length and width to many existing vessels, but it has the biggest capacity of all container ships. It exceeds the previous record-holder, OOCL Spain, by over 150 TEU.
MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.) is the world’s leading container liner company, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It operates 675 offices in 155 countries around the world. Its ships sail on more than 260 trade routes. Its fleet has 730 vessels with a cargo capacity of approximately 4,6 m international standard container units (TEU). Annual capacity is 23 m TEU.
Check out our list of the biggest container ships in the world by TEU.