China delivers world’s largest 24,000 TEU container ship

The world’s largest container ship, the first of its kind made by China, was delivered on Wednesday in the coastal city of Shanghai.

The Ever Alot has a capacity of 24,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units), the measurement used to determine cargo capacity for container ships and ports and based on the volume of a 20-foot-long (6.1-meter) standard-sized container.

It was designed by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, with complete independent intellectual property rights.

The ship is 399.99 meters long, over 60 meters longer than the largest aircraft carrier in the world, and 61.5 meters wide, with a deck area of 24,000 square meters, equivalent to 3.5 standard football fields.

With a cargo compartment of 33.2 meters deep, it can carry 240,000 tonnes of cargo packed in more than 24,000 standard containers at a time, a global high.

Containers can be stacked to a maximum height equivalent to a 22-story building.

The vessel also features energy-saving designs. The shipbuilder has adopted the latest hydrodynamic optimization technologies, allowing the vessel to carry heavy loads at high speed with low fuel consumption.

It will serve the route from the Far East to Europe after put into operation.

Hudong-Zhonghua has previously delivered nearly 70 container ships with a capacity of above 8,000 TEU and is working on a total of nine ultra-large container ships of 24,000 TEU, ranking first among major Chinese shipyards.

China’s increasing shipbuilding prowess

The delivery of Ever Alot is an example of China’s increasing shipbuilding capabilities, which has been propelled by technology breakthroughs.

In 2021, China’s shipbuilding output, newly received orders and orders on hand – the three major indicators of shipbuilding industry – accounted for 47.2, 53.8 and 47.6 percent respectively of the global shipbuilding market share, ranking the first in the world, according to the data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The global competitiveness of Chinese shipbuilding companies has also further improved, with six of them climbing to the world’s top 10 in terms of the three major market share indicators.

They have maintained the momentum this year despite the impact of COVID-19, which has forced lockdowns and restrictive measures in the commercial hub of Shanghai.

Large liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels, aircraft carriers and large cruise ships are known as the three “pearls” on the “crown” of the shipbuilding industry, and China has mastered the capabilities to design and build all the three types.

As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of large-scale LNG carriers, China has built and delivered more than 30 such vessels.

The country also just launched its third aircraft carrier, the Fujian, which was named after the southeastern coastal province Fujian. It’s the first aircraft carrier completely designed and built by China.

China’s first large cruise ship, the H1508, is currently under construction by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Company, another major shipbuilder of China.

The 323-meter-long cruise ship, scheduled to be delivered in September 2023, will accommodate about 5,200 passengers with 2,125 guest rooms.

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