The biggest container ships in the world 2023

Container ships are vessels intended mainly for container transport. Trading between countries increases, and the demand for container shipping services is no different. For decades engineers tried to create as big ships as possible to fit a lot of containers and make maritime shipping efficient. What are the biggest container ships in the world?

The biggest container ships in the world – ranking

6. The biggest container ships of the Danish company Maersk

Maersk, or A.P. Møller-Mærsk A/S, is a Danish public company operating in various business sectors, mainly transportation and energy. It is one of the largest container ship operators in the world. Established in 1904, the company has its headquarters in Copenhagen and branches in 130 countries. This liner has more than 700 vessels with a capacity of 4.2 million TEU.

The biggest container ships of Maersk:

  • Madrid Maersk
  • Munich Maersk
  • Moscow Maersk
  • Milan Maersk
  • Monaco Maersk
  • Marseille Maersk
  • Manchester Maersk
  • Murcia Maersk
  • Manila Maersk
  • Mumbai Maersk
  • Maastricht Maersk

All ships are 399 meters long, 58.6 meters wide, and have a capacity of 20,568 TEU. They are the largest container ships sailing under the Danish flag.

5. The biggest container ships of CMA CGM

CMA CGM is a French transportation and forwarding company operating mega container ships for many years. The company was established in 1978. It is one of the world’s leading shipping companies, with 200 shipping routes between hundreds of ports in 160 countries. The head office of the company is located in Marseille. The company’s global presence and efficient vessels enable the CMA CGM group to ship more than 21 million TEUs annually.

CMA CGM’s largest container ships are 399.9 m long, 61.3 m wide and are currently the tenth largest container ship in the world. These are:

  • CMA CGM Jacques Saade
  • CMA CGM Champs Elysees
  • CMA CGM Palais Royal
  • CMA CGM Louvre
  • CMA CGM Rivoli
  • CMA CGM Montmartre
  • CMA CGM Concorde
  • CMA CGM Trocadero
  • CMA CGM Sorbonne

All ships have a capacity of 23,112 TEU. They were built in 2020-2021. They are the largest ships of this type sailing under the flag of France.

4. The biggest container ships of HMM

HMM

HMM is the largest South Korean shipowner specializing in container shipping. The company was founded in 1976. Its extensive network (100 ports) covers North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, Latin America, Oceania, and Eastern Russia.

HMM’s largest container ships:

  • HMM Algeciras
  • HMM Copenhagen
  • HMM Dublin
  • HMM Gdansk
  • HMM Hamburg
  • HMM Helsinki
  • HMM Le Havre

The capacity of the ships is 23,964 TEU. They are 61 meters wide and 399.9 meters long. All container ships sail under Panama’s flag.

3. The biggest container ships of Evergreen

Evergreen Marine is a Taiwanese shipowner that mainly deals with sea shipping. The company was founded in 1968, and its headquarters are in Taoyuan. Evergreen Line has branches in over 100 countries on six continents. The company operates over 200 ships and ships over 10 million TEUs annually. The vessels call at 240 ports in 80 countries.

Evergreen’s largest container ships:

The container ships were commissioned in 2022. These ships are 399.9 m long and 61.5 m wide. Each of them can accommodate 24,004 TEU.

2. The biggest container ship of OOCL company

OOCL logo

OOCL (Orient Overseas Container Line) is a company that provides container transportation and logistics services. The company, founded in Hong Kong in 1969, has over 140 branches in over 100 major cities around the world. The OOCL connects Asia, Europe, North America, the Mediterranean, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand. It can ship over 7 million TEUs annually.

OOCL Spain is currently the largest container ship ordered by OOCL (in service). She is:

  • 399.9 meters long
  • 61.3 meters wide
  • capacity: 24,188 TEU

OOCL Spain was built in early 2023. It is the first OOCL vessel with a capacity of over 24,000. TEU. The company has ordered five more such container ships.

1. The biggest container ships of MSC company

MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.) is a shipping line operating the largest container ships in terms of TEU capacity in the world. It is a Swiss company with headquarters in Geneva. The company was founded in 1970. MSC’s most important port is Antwerp in Belgium. It operates on over 260 maritime trade routes, calling at over 500 ports. It ships 23 million TEUs annually.

The largest MSC container ships are:

  • MSC Irina
  • MSC Loreto
  • and four more sisterships

These ships have been or will be delivered in 2023-2024. They are 399.9 meters long, 61.3 meters wide, and have a capacity of 24,346 TEU. They sail under the Liberian flag.

The biggest container ships in the world

In the picture below, you can see the ranking of the largest container ships in the world from 1956 to 2017.

Container ships capacity and sizes through the years since 1956, source: McKinsey analysis

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