Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Emma Maersk

This is the Emma Maersk, part of a Danish shipping line and one of a new fleet of container ships. This is one of three presently in service, with another two ships commissioned to be completed in 2012. They were commissioned by Wal-Mart to transport all their goods from China. They hold an unbelievable 15,000 containers and have a 207 foot deck beam. The full crew is just 13 people on a ship longer than a US aircraft carrier  - which has a crew of 5,000.
With its 207 foot beam this monster is too big to fit through the Panama or Suez Canals.  It is strictly trans-Pacific. The Emma Maersk transports goods across the Pacific Ocean in just 5 days at a cruise speed of 31 knots (31 nautical miles per hour).

The goods arrive 4 days before the typical container ship (travelling at 18-20 knots) on a China-to-California run. 91% of Walmart products are made in China. So this behemoth is hugely competitive even when carrying perishable goods. 

The ship was built in five sections, the sections floated together and then welded. The bridge is higher than a 10-story building and has 11 cargo crane rigs that can operate simultaneously, capable of unloading the entire ship in less than two hours. Silicone painting applied to the ship bottom reduces water resistance and saves 317,000 gallons of diesel per year.

A recent documentary in late March 2010 on the History Channel noted that all of these containers are shipped back to China, empty. The USA sends nothing back on these ships. What does that tell you about the current financial state of the USA?

Additional info:

Country of origin - Denmark
Length - 1,302 ft
Width - 207 ft
Net cargo - 123 ,200 tons
Engine - 14 cylinders in-line diesel engine (110,000 BHP)
Cruise Speed - 31 knots
Cargo capacity - 15,000 TEU (1 TEU = 20 cubic feet)
Crew - 13 people !
First Trip - Sept. 08, 2006
Construction cost - US $145,000,000+


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