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Friday Fun Fact #7: A container ship's engine is 1,000 times more powerful than that of a family car

Updated on 06 Mar 2024
2 min read
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Happy Friday, everyone! We may be nearing the weekend, but as we all know, ocean freight never stops.

Let us kick-start your weekend with a fascinating fact about the shipping industry! You’ve since learned that shipping accounts for 90% of world trade and the low rate of inspection of containers! Today, we’ll educate you about the world’s biggest container ship’s engines!

Most powerful engines on container ships

The engines of some of the world’s biggest container ships weigh 2,300 tons! Their propellers alone weigh 130 tons. They’re so powerful and complicated that they require over a dozen people PLUS a computer system to operate! That really puts the $200 million price tag of the world’s largest ships into perspective, doesn’t it?

Let’s take a deeper look at the CSCL Globe, which has a carrying capacity of 19,000 TEUs. It is currently one of the world’s largest container ships. And with such a burden to carry, it’s going to need an extremely powerful engine. Lo and behold, its engine stands at over 56 feet high! Take a look at its size in comparison to a tiny human!

It was constructed at Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea. The diesel engine includes an electronically-controlled throttle that increases fuel efficiency by adjusting its power according to the ship’s speed and ocean conditions.

Maersk’s Triple-E engines

Prior to being overtaken by the CSCL Globe, Maersk’s Triple-E vessels were the largest container ships in the world when they launched. With a capacity of over 18,000TEUs, their engines have the horsepower of 88 Formula 1 cars!

Did you know that shipping is the greenest form of transport? These Triple-E engines are capable of lowering fuel consumption by some 37% and halve carbon dioxide emissions per container. Because of its environmental-friendliness, Maersk was awarded the “Sustainable Ship Operator of the Year” award in 2011!

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