Top 10 Largest Container Ships in The World

8 mins read  Sealuminati TeamMay 10, 2021

Container ships were not famous until the Suez Canal Crisis happened. The mishap in which one of the world’s largest container ships Ever Given ran aground diagonally blocking the million dollars’ worth trade route. Days of Misfortune keep on knocking the doors of container ships, the COVID-19 pandemic which brought every industry to a halt, reached some different heights in regards to dislodging the trading Industry. followed later by the mishap disrupting millions of trades, but that particular accident made everyone around the globe realize how important container ships are.

Going back to Ever Given, nobody cared about the trade except the stakeholders and company owners facing the loss, what mesmerized everyone was the size of the particular Evergreen-operated container ship. It was nearly the size of 4 official football grounds put together, bigger than the Eifel Tower. It attracted so many young minds to read the whole incident that some news agencies to gain views, came with headings mentioning the size of the ship. Isn’t it interesting? How everyone not being aware of the up hikes in the market rates, being least bothered concerning the mental stability of the crew members just focussed on the size. We don’t want to disappoint you but, what if we tell you it occupies the 10th spot in the list of Top 10 container ships around the globe? Don’t panic, we won’t bring you a ship having a size equal to five official football fields.

For Newbies, what is a container ship? Container ships are large seaborne vessels, specially designed to transport cargo from one port to another port. The cargo compromises any particular goods which can be transported through oceanic routes. These cargoes are loaded onto the container ships by packing them inside containers and the process is known as Containerization. The shipping container dimensions are specified as twenty-equivalent units (TEU), which is ISO standardized and vary between two sizes, i.e. 20-equivalent unit and 40-equivalent unit (2-TEU). With modern-day container ships having the caliber to carry around 24,000 TEU, 90% of the global no-bulk cargoes are transported through shipping lines operating container ships.

Container ships usually vary not due to their size but on the carry capacities of the vessel and the Gross Tonnage (GT), it accounts for. We will take you through the top 10 container giants, which might only vary a few centimeters in size but can carry tons of cargoes more than the Ever given container ship.

1. HMM ALGECIRAS (2020 – present)

HMM Algeciras is a Panama flagged, Algeciras-class containership and is among the 12 container ships made for Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) Co. Ltd. She is a Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries made vessel having a capacity of 23,964 TEU.

With a length of nearly 400m and a beam of 61m, she is the largest container ship having a GT of 228,283. Having the potential to enhance energy efficiency and reduce carbon footprints, HMM Algeciras is the most technically sound container ship with an inbuilt scrubber system. Named after the Spanish port city, she began her maiden voyage from Qingdao, China towards the Port of Rotterdam. With highly efficient engines she sets the standard of Korean Shipbuilding behind the pars. 

2. HMM OSLO (2020 – present)

Another Samsung Heavy Industries made, Panama flagged and HMM Co. Ltd operated vessel. HMM Oslo being the 2nd largest container ship is also known as the sister of HMM Algeciras and HMM Copenhagen. Calculating the shipping container dimensions, she can only uphold 172 containers less than HMM Algeciras, i.e., 23,792 TEU with a GT of 232,311.

She has the same length of 400m as her sister, HMM Algeciras but a beam slightly greater than her, 61.50m. Before departing for Europe, she visited Singapore, which gave signs that East Asian trades are recovering. With the Introduction of HMM Oslo in the shipping line fleet, the company has taken a step closer to its long-term goal of Net Zero carbon emission by the year 2050.

3. MSC GULSUN (2019 – present)

With a vessel capacity of 23, 756 TEU, MSC Gulsun is the 3rd largest container ship. She is also built by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea, specially designed by MacGregor International AB to hold the containers in rows of 24 across. Even though she is a Panama flagged vessel, as the Top 2 container ships, she is operated by the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) situated in Switzerland and Geneva, and the Netherlands.

MSC Gulsun has the same dimensions as HMM Oslo (length – 400m and beam – 61.50m) and weighs nearly 234,618 GT. She is specially made to carry more than 2000 refrigerated containers, only container ship to do so. Also, she is designed for having minimal hull resistance, increasing energy efficiency.

4. MSC MINA (2020 – present)

MSC Mina is a Gulsun class and Panama flagged vessel. She was built by the same group of Samsung Heavy Industries, like her sister – MSC Gulsun. Having the same dimensions as of HMM Algeciras – The largest container ship ( length – 400m and beam – 61m), she manages to occupy the 4th spot because of being a 228,741 GT vessel.

With a carrying capacity of nearly 23,656 TEU, she has a milestone of being the first largest container ship to call in Thailand, which was achieved in her maiden voyage. Her maiden call in Port Laem Chabang, Thailand made the port official believe that they are capable of accommodating such a huge vessel. She now serves between Europe and Asia, sometimes on the West Coast of the US a part of the ‘Lion-Jaguar’ pendulum service.

5. CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE’ (2020 – present)

She is the world’s largest French-flagged shipping container ship solely powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). Compagnie Maritime d'Affrètement CMA and Compagnie Générale Maritime CGM operated CMA CGM Jacques Saade’ is one among the 9 Jacques Saade’ class container ships, built-in Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Jiangnan shipyard to carry 23,000 TEU by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation ( CSSC ). This 236,583 GT vessel, which is 399.9m long having a beam of 61.3m was signed for a contract worth 1.2 billion.

She was delivered after 10 months delay by CSSC in 2020 and was named after the founder of CMA CGS – “Jacques Saade”. Wärtsilä gave the technology supply for aiding ship after the design given by Rodolphe Saade’(EO, CMA CGM)

6. OOCL HONK KONG (2017 – present)

At the time of delivery, OOCL Hong Kong was the largest containership ever built. She was the first container ship to surpass the 21000 TEU mark and the 3rd to cross the 20000 TEU mark. This Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd. (OOCL) operated, Hong Kong-flagged vessel was made in Samsung Heavy Industries, Geoje and was the lead ship among the 6 G-class vessels.

OOCL Hong Kong as her sisters covers the route from East Asia to Northern Europe in about 77 days. Having a carrying capacity of 21,413 TEU arranged across 23 rows, this 210,590 GT vessel measures 399.87 in length and 58.80m in beam and can sail with a speed of 14.6 knots per hour.

7. COSCO SHIPPING UNIVERSE (2018 – present)

She is one of the 6 Universe-class vessels built in Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding at the Jiangnan Shipyard, Shanghai, and operated by China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) shipping lines. COSCO Shipping Universe was the 2nd class of container ships crossing the 21,000 TEU mark and has a capacity of 21,237. Weighing nearly 215,553 GT, she has a length of 399.9m and a beam of 58.6m.

With inbuilt ABB turbocharges, she can touch a speed of 22 knots per hour and is recognized as the 21st-century flagship vessel to optimize the Silk route, linking China to Europe and Africa. This vessel was initially ordered by the CSCL but due to the merger of CSCL with COSCO in 2016, she became a part of the COSCO shipping line.


Being the lead ship of her class, CMA CGM Antoine De Saint Exupery is the flagship of CMA CGM, making her name the largest French-flagged container ship and the largest Europe-based ship. This 217,673 GT vessel was built in Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines and was named after the famous French author and aviator – “Antione De Saint Exupery”.

She is 400m in length and 59m in beam, having a carrying capacity of 20,954. Serving in the longest route linking Asia to Northern Europe – FAL 1, she is recognized for being one of the most eco-friendly vessels. From having UV lamps and filters for the betterment of oceanic creatures to a reduction in oil consumption and carbon foot-prints, she is a perfect vessel any company would love to own.

9. MADRID MAERSK ( 2017 – present)

Another Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering made vessel, Madrid Maersk is the 2nd container ship to cross the 20,000 TEU mark. Madrid Maersk is an A.P. Moller – Maersk Group operated vessel having a carrying capacity of 20,568 TEU and weight up to 214,286 GT. She is one of the 11 2nd-gen Maersk Triple E-class container ships and shares her ownership with the Danish shipping container giant – Maersk Line.

Her dimensions are, 399m in length and 58.6 in beam Port of Tianjin, China was the first port to welcome Madrid Maersk on her maiden voyage. Madrid Maersk was built with an ideology of being fast as the Maersk line is the most reliable company in terms of vessel turnaround time. Port of Antwerp witnessed her speed and recorded just 59 hours for port turnaround.

10. EVER GIVEN (2018 – present)

A container ship that needs no mention. Ever given is also a Panama flagged vessel, owned by Shoei Kisen Kaisa and operated by the Evergreen Marine. She was built in the Imabari Shipbuilding, Japan (The owner of Ever Given is a subsidiary alliance for ship owning and leasing of the same), and is one of the 13 container ships made for the Imabari 20000 design which aimed to cross the 20,000 TEU mark. Her length is 399.94m has a beam of 58.8m with a carrying capacity of 20,124 TEU. This 220,940 GT vessel is the 2nd ship named ‘Ever Given’ by the Evergreen Marine lines, the earlier one was built in 1986 and has been dismantled in 2009.

The global interdependency of the countries has been affected by the pandemic in a severe way which has fuelled the onset of new trends in the maritime transport landscape which aim to remodel it. The maritime sector is facing immediate concerns and the longer-term considerations, ranging from shifts in supply chain design and globalization patterns to changes in consumption and spending habits seem to play their parts in augmenting the concerns. This pandemic has made the importance of maritime transport transparent to the entire population.

Do you have any idea how much of the goods can be placed inside a container having the standard shipping container dimensions? You can nearly fill a box with 10,000 beer bottles. You can imagine how large containers are, and how much goods are stopped from trading if the containers are not a roll. Recently in China, box manufacturing companies were thunderstruck by the 25 million sudden box demands, a result of a trade upsurge in the ending months of 2020. 3 million surplus boxes were left in the Chinese ports, with no one to buy or trade until the demands normalized from the US and Europe.

You can google “Shipping containers for sale near me “, and see the prices of containers, which went nearly to $3000 per box after the unexpected demand hikes. Various reports suggested that ports facing similar problems infused more than 5000 extra workers to keep in track with the demands, container industry has faced a lot in the previous couple of years. Now search “Shipping containers for sale near me Maersk and you will know the different types of containers available. Container ships carry all such kinds of boxes to different places to fulfil the need of the common mass.

We hope by now you would have understood why the sizes of these ships are so big and how important they are in terms of our daily needs.