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Are container ships getting too big?

Are container ships getting too big? | Geography Education |

What is blue, a quarter of a mile long, and taller than London's Olympic stadium?  The answer - this year's new class of container ship, the Triple E. When it goes into service this June, it will be the largest vessel ploughing the sea.  Each will contain as much steel as eight Eiffel Towers and have a capacity equivalent to 18,000 20-foot containers (TEU).  

Seth Dixon's insight:

These containers are symbols of global commerce that enable economies of scale to be profitable and the outsourcing of so many manufacturing jobs to developing countries.  The invention of these containers have changed the geography of global shipping and the vast majority of the world's largest ports are now in East Asia.  Today though, the biggest container ships are too big to go through the Panama Canal, encouraging China to build a larger canal through Nicaragua.      

Tags: transportation, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, March 5, 2014 4:32 PM

Consumed in Europe these container ships have the amount of steel of  8 Efile Towers in one container. It is a quarter mile long and taller than that of the Olympic stadium in London.  

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, January 22, 7:14 PM

This is so big!  I suppose we could always use these container ships as fall back housing by country should the earth get swallowed up by the ocean.  Would it be faster to have smaller ships that can cruise at a faster speed versus a larger ship that holds more?  How many places can these container ships actually fit?  Where will the outmoded ship eventually go? 

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