Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Massive Shipping: Transpacific supply chain is now shorter!

by Eric Carlson, CPP - Chainalytics

Maersk, a leader in global logistics, container ships and shipping has built a truly astounding container ship for the express purpose of transpacific shipping and global shipping, the Emma Maersk. This ship exceeds the Panamax, which is the largest ship to transit the Panama Canal; however it can still pass through the Suez Canal and is approximately 180’ longer than an aircraft carrier. The ship was built to carry 1,400 more containers than the next largest ship.

Panamax: Length = 965 ft, Beam = 106 ft

Emma Maersk: Length = 1302 ft, Beam = 184 ft


The Emma Maersk is powered by the world's largest single diesel unit, weighing 2,300 tons and capable of 110,000 horsepower allowing the ship to travel up to 25% faster. With a cruising speed rated at 31 knots, this ship can make the trip from Hong Kong to Los Angeles in about 9 days – this compared to nearly 14 days (19 knots) for a typical container ship.

To get an idea of how much faster this ship can make the journey, calculate your journey here:

The ship also has several features to protect the environment. This includes recycling the exhaust, mixed with fresh air, back into the engine for reuse. This not only increases efficiency but also reduces engine emissions.

ISO adopted the intermodal container standard to more efficiently transport goods across the world in the late 1960s. Ever since then cargo containers have revolutionized global trade.

Time and distance have shrunk again with the Emma Maersk!


  1. As these ships become more prevelant, will we need to rework how we calculate emission calculations for sutainability and Walmart scorecard calculations?

  2. According to a February 22 article published in Supply Chain Digest some of these ships have been out of service because export volumes are down, capacity is up, fuel costs have doubled and there is less demand for speed to market. I would say that sustainability calculations should not be effected for now.

  3. Thanks for the quick answer & Great Info!


In order to maintain the integrity of the blog and its content, all comments are moderated. We work to review and approve comments as quickly as possible, but please do not resubmit your comment if it does not appear right away.