List of Largest Container Ships in the World

More than 90% of the world’s cargo movement happens through the shipping lines. There are many shipping lines in the world, of all sizes. Here you can find the world’s biggest container vessel where they cover various distances, ranging from a few countries to the entire world. As per the information provided by the International Chamber of Shipping, more than 50,000 merchant ships are currently in operation all across the globe.

Largest Container Ships

Container ships form a major chunk of the ships carrying cargo. They carry goods in different types of containers. Based on their carrying capacity, they are categorized into:

  • Ultra Large Container Vessel (ULCV) – carrying capacity more than 20,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs)
  • New Panamax
  • Post Panamax
  • Panamax
  • Feedermax
  • Feeder
  • Small Feeder

Containerization came into being in the mid-1950s. Malcom McLean introduced this concept in the shipping sector and it took the sector by storm. Ever since then, tens of thousands of container carriers have seen the light of the day, with gradually increasing capacities. Along with crude oil and bulk carriers, there are many container ships that can claim to be the largest ships plying on the oceans.

Normally, the size of ships is described based on the number of TEUs that the ship can carry. As per this parameter, let’s take a look at the top 10 largest container ships in the world today.

World’s 10 Largest Container Ships

HMM Algeciras

Built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries, the HMM Algeciras is the largest container ship in the world today, with a mind-boggling carrying capacity of 23,964 TEUs. Hyundai Merchant Marine operates this line. It was commissioned in April 2020. The ship has a tonnage of more than 228,000 GT with a length of almost 400 meters. The draught is more than 16 meters.

Flag: Panama [PA] Official Website: https://www.hmm21.com/

HMM Oslo

HMM, Oslo also comes from the stables of Hyundai Merchant Marine. This ship has been built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries. This giant can carry 23,820 TEUs. It has a length of 399 meters with a draught of almost 16.5 meters. The tonnage is 232,311 GT.

Flag: Panama [PA] Official Website: https://www.hmm21.com/

MSC Gulsun

When it was launched in 2019, the MSC Gulsun was the world’s largest container ship. Then it was overtaken by the HMM Algeciras. The builder of this ship is Samsung Heavy Industries and the operator is Mediterranean Shipping Company. It has a width of 62 meters and a length of 400 meters. The carrying capacity is 23,756 TEUs. The tonnage is 232,618 GT

Flag: Panama [PA] Official Website: https://www.msc.com/

MSC Mina

MSC Mina was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and commissioned in 2019. This container ship, operated by the Mediterranean Shipping Company, comes with a tonnage of 228,714 GT and can carry 23,656 TEUs comfortably. The draught is more than 16 meters with a length of 399 meters. The MSC Mina is among the 11 large container vessels that the company operates.

Flag: Panama [PA] Official Website: https://www.msc.com/

CMA CGM Jacques Saade

Part of a group of 9 container ships with a capacity to carry more than 23,000 TEUs, the Jacques Saade has been built by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation and is operated by the French shipping line CMA CGM. It was commissioned in 2019. The ship has been named after the founder of CMA CGM. It can carry 23,112 TEUs and has a draught of 16 meters. The tonnage is 236,583 GT and it has a length of almost 400 meters.

Flag: France [FR] Official Website: https://www.cma-cgm.com/

Find out the world’s largest shipping companies.

OOCL Hong Kong

The Orient Overseas Container Line operates this excellent cargo carrier. This ship has the distinction of being the first one to cross the 21,000 TEU benchmark. Samsung Heavy Industries built this ship in 2017. It was the largest ship of its kind in 2017. The TEU carrying capacity is 21,413. The ship has a length of 399 meters with a breadth of almost 60 meters. OOCL Hong Kong lies between East Asia and Northern Europe.

Flag: Hong Kong [HK] Official Website: http://www.oocl.com/

COSCO Shipping Universe

At the time of its commissioning in 2018, this was the largest container ship in China. The 400-meter long ship has a carrying capacity of 21,237 TEUs and has a tonnage of 215,553 GT. Equipped with ABB Turbochargers, the giant can notch up speeds of up to 22 nautical miles per hour. Built by China State Shipbuilding Corporation, the ship is owned by China Ocean Shipping Company Limited (COSCO). The ship operates between China, and Europe, and Africa, through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Flag: Hong Kong [HK] Official Website: http://www.coscoshippinglines.be/

CMA CGM Antoine De Saint Exupery

The Philippines-based Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction built this vessel that is named after the French aviator and poet Antoine De Saint Exupery. It is among the flagship carriers of CMA CGM and the largest container ship to sail with the French flag. It is also among the largest Europe-based ships. After initial trials, it was commissioned in 2018. It can carry 20,954 TEUs. The ship is 400 meters in length and has a tonnage of 217,673 GT. The Winterthur Gas & Diesel model diesel engine powers the vessel up to 22 knots per hour. It lies on the longest sea route between Northern Europe and Asia.

Flag: France [FR] Official Website: https://www.cma-cgm.com/

Madrid Maersk

Constructed by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, this was the 2nd ship to breach the 20,000 TEU barrier. The Madrid Maersk can carry 20,568 TEUs. It measures 400 meters in length and is owned by the Danish major Maersk Line. The A. P. Moller-Maersk Group operates this ULCV, which has a tonnage of 214,286 GT.

Flag: Denmark [DK] Official Website: https://www.maersk.com/

MOL Truth

Operated by the famous Ocean Network Express (ONE) group of Japan, the MOL Truth was built by Saijo shipyards of Imabari Shipbuilding Company Limited. With a loading capacity of 20,182 TEUs and a tonnage of 210,691 GT, the ship is indeed imposing. It operates in the busy trade route of Asia-Northern Europe. Thanks to its high-efficiency engine and propeller and an optimum hull shape, the ship manages to eliminate CO2 emissions by close to 30%.

Flag: Panama [PA] Official Website: https://www.mol.co.jp/

Quick Overview of Top Largest Container Ships

Sl. No.CompanyOperatorMaximum TEU
1HMM AlgecirasHMM (South Korea)23,964
2HMM OsloHMM (South Korea)23,820
3MSC GulsunMSC (Switzerland)23,756
4MSC MinaMSC (Switzerland)23,656
5CMA CGM Jacques SaadeCMA CGM (France)23,112
6OOCL Hong KongOOCL (Hong Kong)21,413
7COSCO Shipping UniverseCOSCO (China)21,237
8CMA CGM Antoine De Saint ExuperyCMA CGM (France)20,954
9Madrid MaerskMaersk (Denmark)20,568
10MOL TruthONE (Japan)20,182

Other shipping companies:

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