New Maersk ship too big for enlarged Panama Canal
Maersk line has acknowledged that the 'Emma Maersk,' at 56 meters wide, would be too big to use the third set of locks proposed for the Panama Canal in 2014-2015, which are only scheduled to be 55 meters wide.
Speaking at an exclusive press viewing of the new vessel in Rotterdam Wednesday, Eivind Kolding, new joint chief executive officer of Maersk Line, said the new PS class ships are needed for the Asia/Europe trade.
'The new locks at Panama are still some eight years away,' he pointed out, explaining that Maersk's plan was to build eight of the large ships now to form a single loop calling at Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Algeciras, Yantian, Hong Kong, Ningbo, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas and Bremerhaven. The loop will be phased in some time next year when an optimum number of the new ships — one to be delivered every two months, are in service — he said.
'When the new Panama Canal locks are built we could build some more ships with one row less, or something like that, if necessary,' he suggested.
'Emma Maersk' has23 40 to 45-foot cargo bays of mostly 22 rows wide and 18 rows high. Her maximum container intake is clearly somewhere very much closer to adjusted minimum expert estimates of 14,800 TEUs than the official figure of 11,000 TEUs used by Kolding. The ship's captain refused to comment even on the design deadweight figure of the vessel (her cargo-lifting capacity), saying only that the actual deadweight figure was 'still being calculated.'
'Emma Maersk' has a service speed of 22 knots on the main engine alone and a draft of 14 meters. Because of her exceptional length, up to 11 shore gantry cranes can work on the ship at one time. The engine installation is the largest, most powerful and most fuel-efficient in the world, driving the largest ship's propeller ever made.