Sunday, April 10, 2022

The large get larger, the small get smaller

So much cargo travels by container ship these days that ships are built of all different sizes to cater to the needs of specific trade routes. As some of those routes acquire larger and larger ships, what were once the "largest" ships are eclipsed. What would have been considered a large ship, in terms of capacity, years ago has now been relegated to mid-size or even small size.

Similarly the "largest" ship to call in Halifax holds the record only for a few months or a year until it is eclipsed by a larger ship. Today's sailing (April 10) of the CMA CGM T. Jefferson is a reminder of how elusive those records may be. The ship set the record for largest ship to call in Halifax on March 21, 2020. It was also the first ship to call here with a capacity of more than 14,000 TEU.

 Built in 2017 by Hyundai, Ulsan, it is still a large ship, at 148,872 gt, 147,966 dwt, but has since been eclipsed in December of the 2021 by the 16,020 TEU capacity ships of CMA CGM's Explorer class, such as CMA CGM Marco Polo - the current record holder.

At the other end of the scale is today's arrival for the Icelandic shipping company Eimskip. The Selfoss has a capacity of 698 TEU. 

That is an appropriate size for the ship that trades between Reykjavik, Halifax, Portland, ME and Argentia NL and back again. Many of its containers are refrigerated, so it is likely to have a large number of reefer plugs. It also has two cargo cranes, to handle boxes in smaller ports. 

The 7464 gt, 8166 dwt ship was built in 2008 by the Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding Co in Fuzhou, China. Originally named Sophia by German owners, it was renamed Selfoss when acquired by Eimskip in 2017.


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