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The World’s largest Container Ship launched

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July 10, 2006

The World’s largest Container Ship launched

The World’s largest Container Ship launched

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July 11, 2006 It’s normal for things in the digital realm to get much larger very quickly, but it seems the same thing is happening with container ships, which seem to be more efficient the bigger they get. Samsung Heavy Industries recently launched the World’s largest container ship, breaking its own world record of 9200 teu (a teu is a 20 ft container) which it set less than 12 months ago. The Xin Los Angeles is the new heavyweight champ and carries 9600 teu - equivalent to 1.3 million 29 inch color TVs, or 50 million mobile phones. Whatsmore, the record will almost certainly be broken again in the near future as SHI has developed a 12,000 teu container ship design in co-operation with Lloyd's Register and is working on a container ship capable of carrying 14,000 teu. To put matters in perspective, SHI built what was then the world’s largest container ship in 1999 - it carried 6,200 teu. This ship is more than three times larger than the Titanic and has a crew of (you’ll never guess) …

How many crew does it take to comfortably man the world’s largest container ship? Thanks to incredibly sophisticated automation, the answer is a staggering 19 men.

The world's largest container ship, Xin Los Angeles, has been delivered by Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd (SHI) to Lloyd's Register class. The ship is owned by China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) and is operated by China International Shipmanagement Company Ltd, a joint venture between CSCL and V.Ships.

The ship is 9,600 teu and is the first in a series of eight being built by SHI. The ship will trade from China to Europe initially and will eventually also trade to the US.

Xin Los Angeles can carry a maximum of 18 rows of containers by eight tiers on the weather deck and 16 rows by 10 tiers in the holds.

The principal dimensions of the ship are: • 336.7 metres length overall • 45.6 metres beam • 15.0 metres draught.

The ship is propelled by an MAN B&W 12K98MC-C Mk6, with a power of 68,520 kW. During sea trials the ship achieved a ballast service speed of 25.4 knots.

Xin Los Angeles is unique not only in terms of size, but also in its design aspects. The ship has been assigned Lloyd's Register's Environmental Protection Notation, which recognises vessels which exceed current statutory environmental requirements. The ship has a certified ballast water management system and has detailed procedures and systems in place for dealing with refrigerants, garbage and sewage and will also run on low-sulphur fuel. The ship is also enrolled in Lloyd's Register's Ship Emergency Response Service (SERS), a naval architectural consultancy service which provides technical support in the event of an incident such as a grounding or collision. As part of SERS, the operator will undergo a set number of ship emergency response exercises during the course of a given calendar year.

Xin Los Angeles has also been assigned Lloyd's Register's Crew Accommodation Comfort Notation. This means that the vessel has been designed to mitigate noise and vibration levels. A high specification of noise dampening material has been employed throughout the accommodation, and the vessel has been designed to minimise vibration aspects, by assessing main engine vibration characteristics, propeller design and equipment specification.

"We are very pleased that the close co-operation between the owner's, the yard's and our site teams resulted in the successful and timely completion of this highly notable vessel," says Duncan Duffy, Surveyor in Charge, Lloyd's Register Koje. "We congratulate both the owner and the yard on this record-breaking achievement."

"We have an ambitious strategy for building the container ship fleet of the future. We are pushing the size envelope because we believe that future market demand, coupled with the increasing importance of Chinese trade to the world economy requires an innovative, forward-thinking response to ship design and construction. The excellent teamwork between ourselves, SHI and Lloyd's Register has helped us to achieve our objectives in this respect," says Xin Yan Lin, Site Manager, China Shipping Group.

Construction also aimed at minimizing the emission of nitrogen oxide by using environment friendly engine. It can also run at a 26&min;note speed by using the engine that is used in 7,000 TEU container ships.

SHI has so far built some 181 container ships, while receiving orders for 33 ships out of the 9,000 TEU plus container ship orders received in the global shipbuilding industry – an approximate 45% market share.

"They key technology in container ship construction is to carry more containers under the same conditions. We have already developed 12,000 TEU container ships, and are trying to get new orders for these ships. At the same time, we will continue to focus on research and development, so as to steadily maintain our number one position in the world shipbuilding industry," CEO Kim Jing Wan said.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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