Maersk Line goes large and slow to go green

The world’s largest shipping company has ordered ten fuel-efficient container vessels which will be the biggest and most fuel efficient ever built

The world’s largest shipping company has ordered ten fuel-efficient container vessels which will be the biggest and most fuel efficient ever built.

With capacity to carry 18,000 containers, Maersk Line’s Triple E (economy of scale, energy efficiency and environmentally improved) vessels will be 400 metres long, 59 metres wide and weigh 160,000 tonnes. They will be built in South Korea, will cost $190m each and should go into service from 2013.

By travelling at 19 knots instead of the typical 23, the vessels will use about 100 tonnes of fuel per day, which is roughly 50% less than the average on the Asia-Europe trade lane and 20% less than the existing best, the Emma Maersk.

Bill Hemmings of Transport and Environment, the European environmental NGO, told ENDS: “Ship speed and emissions have a cubic relationship... you get dramatic emission reductions by slowing down.

“The question is whether they ordered these new ships to pre-empt the pending fuel efficiency standards – the energy design index for new ships – that the International Maritime Organization will hopefully adopt in July.”

Further efficiency savings will come from a waste-heat recovery system. The ships are only marginally longer and taller than the current biggest container vessel. The almost 20% extra capacity comes from additional width. The company hopes to cut transport costs per container by 26%. 

“We could have made them longer but ports would have had to be enlarged,” said Eivind Kolding, Maersk chief executive.

The vessels have been designed for China-Europe routes. The only British port capable of handling them is Felixstowe.

Related Environmental Services

Powered by ENDS Directory

Compliance Search

Discover all ENDS content in one place, including legislation summaries to keep up to date with compliance deadlines

Compliance Deadlines

Plan ahead with our Calendar feature highlighting upcoming compliance deadlines

Most-read articles

Principal Planner

Leeds is a fast growing city and the main driver of a city region with a £64.6 billion economy.

Officer 2 Environment Team x 2

Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Environment Team Leader

If you want a role that offers variety and challenge, and to be a part of an organisation that has the sustainable management of natural resources at the core of our purpose, we would love to hear from you.

Installations Officer - Control of Major Accidents Hazards (COMAH)

We are looking for two enthusiastic professionals to join our North West Hub Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulatory team as Installations Officers.

Installation Officer

If you’re part of the Environment Agency (EA), you’re part of the solution. Working with us means protecting and improving the environment for generations to come, tackling issues of national importance across a huge variety of disciplines.

Sustainable Development Programme Manager

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a driven and motivated individual to join a forward thinking and dynamic Directorate within Public Health Wales.