The first Chinese-manufactured 21,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) ultra large container vessel, the largest one ever built by a Chinese shipbuilder, was delivered to its customer in Shanghai on Tuesday.
The ship delivery to the China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO) signified that China has become one of the few countries that can build such ultra large container ships.
The ship, named COSCO Shipping Universe, is 400 meters long and 58.6 meters wide. It has a maximum shipping capacity of 198,000 metric tons, with a designed speed of about 42 kilometers per hour.
After it is put into operation, the super-sized vessel, built by China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), will be used for shipping lines between Asia and Europe, which will help reduce operation cost by 25 percent.
"The 14,000-TEU container ship, as a major ship type, used to sail along the Asia-Europe routes. But now, operation cost per container (of the Universe) will be cut by 25 percent," said Yu Lai, deputy chief engineer with a research institute of CSSC.
Extra-large container ships have been a leading player in the international shipping market over recent years. There are currently 50 container ships between 18,000-21,000 TEUs in service worldwide, and 50 more are still under construction.
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