Measuring the Mega Ship

When one of the world’s largest cargo vessels enters San Francisco Bay today, shippers will witness a new era also being ushered in

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When one of the world’s largest cargo vessels enters San Francisco Bay today, shippers will witness a new era also being ushered in.

The MSC Fabiola is part of a new class of containerships creating greater economies of scale, increased fuel efficiency, and more service options for shippers. 

They also host the latest navigational and environmental protection technologies.  The larger ships generally produce lower emissions per container.

The vessel exhibits an evolution in containership design – the accommodation block and bridge (combined, “the deckhouse”) are located more forward (toward the bow) and not directly over the engine.  The split design enables containers to be stacked higher aft of the deckhouse, creating greater efficiency and loadability.

Of the more than 5,000 containerships deployed around the world, only 71 have a capacity of 12,500 TEUs or more, and the MSC Fabiola is the only one to have regular port calls in the United States. Virtually all vessels in this ultra-large class are deployed in the Asia-Europe trade lane.

Here are more startling vessel statistics:

Built: 2010 in South Korea
Length Overall (LOA): 366.08M/1201’
Breadth: 48.2M/158’
TEU Capacity: 12,562
Maximum water draft (fully loaded): 15.50M/50.85’
Deadweight: 146,093 metric tons
Refrigerated container capacity: 1000 plugs
Top speed: 25.3 knots

The MSC Fabiola is part of MSC’s Pearl River Delta Express Service (PRX), jointly operated by French carrier, CMA CGM. The PRX Service comprises of six vessels with weekly calls at the following ports: Oakland, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Chiwan, Hong Kong, Yantian, and Long Beach.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at pburnson@peerlessmedia.com.

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