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Emma Mærsk

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Container ship Emma Mærsk in Aarhus, 5 September 2006
NameEmma Maersk
OperatorA. P. Moller-Maersk Group
Port of registryTaarbæk,  Denmark
BuilderOdense Steel Shipyard Ltd., Denmark
Laid down20 January 2006[1]
Launched18 May 2006
Acquired31 August 2006
In service31 August 2006
StatusIn service
General characteristics
Class and typeE-class container ship
  • 170,794 GT
  • 55,396 NT
  • 156,907 DWT
Length397 m (1,302 ft 6 in)
Beam56 m (183 ft 9 in)
Draught16.02 m (52 ft 7 in)
Depth30 m (98 ft 5 in) (deck edge to keel)
Propulsion81 MW (109,000 hp) Wärtsilä 14RT-Flex96c plus 30 MW (40,000 hp) from five Caterpillar 9M32
Speed25.5 knots (47.2 km/h; 29.3 mph)
Crew13, with room for 30

Emma Mærsk is the first container ship in the E class of eight owned by A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S. When launched in 2006, she was the largest container ship ever built, and in 2010, she and her seven sister ships were among the longest container ships. Officially, she is able to carry around 11,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) or 14,770 TEU, depending on definition. In May 2010, her sister ship Ebba Mærsk set a record of 15,011 TEU in Tanger-Med, Tangier.[3]


Emma Mærsk was built at the Odense Steel Shipyard in Denmark. In June 2006, during construction, welding work caused a fire within the superstructure.[4] It spread rapidly through the accommodation section and bridge, which delayed her completion by six to seven weeks.

She was named in a ceremony on 12 August 2006, after Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller's late wife, Emma. On 16 August 2006, five tugboats dragged Emma Maersk from her Danish shipyard and towed her backward to the sea.[5] She set sail on her maiden voyage on 8 September 2006 at 02:00 hours from Aarhus, calling at Gothenburg, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam, Algeciras, the Suez Canal, and arrived in Singapore on 1 October 2006 at 20:05 hours. She sailed the next day for Yantian in Shenzhen, then Kobe, Nagoya, arriving at Yokohama on 10 October 2006, and returning via Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Tanjung Pelepas, the Suez Canal, Felixstowe, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Gothenburg to Aarhus, arriving on 11 November 2006 at 16:00 hours.[6]

In 2008, the ship was featured on an episode of the television documentary series Mighty Ships, during a voyage between Malaysia and Spain.[7]

In 2011, the National Bank of Denmark issued a 20 DKK commemorative coin for her.[8]

Going eastwards on 1 February 2013, she suffered a damaged stern thruster and took on so much water in the Suez Canal that she became unmaneuverable. Tugs, anchors and the wind[9] took her to Port Said to offload 13,500 containers, drain her and be investigated by divers. She had not been in danger of sinking.[10][11][12][13][14]

On 15 February 2013, the Maersk Line confirmed that she was about to leave Port Said under tow to a yard for further assessment and repair.[15] On 25 February she reached the yard of Palermo, Sicily, where she was scheduled to stay for four months.[16] The flooded engine was disassembled, repaired and assembled,[17] and in August 2013, she was in service again[18] after a DKK 250 million (roughly US$44.5 million) repair.[19]

Emma Mearsk at a shipyard in Finland


Originally Maersk reported a capacity of 11,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) as the maximum capacity of fully loaded 14 ton containers, according to Maersk company's then method of calculating capacity,[20] which, at her introduction into service, was about 1,400 more containers than any other ship.[21] However, Maersk also acknowledges the standard method of defining capacity, stating 14,770 TEU.[22]

By normal calculations, she has a capacity significantly greater than reported—between 13,500 and 15,200 TEU.[23][24] The difference between the official and estimated numbers is because Maersk calculates the capacity of a container ship by weight (in this case, 14 tons/container), i.e. 11,000+ containers,[25] of which 1,000 can be refrigerated containers.[26]

Other companies calculate capacity according to the maximum number of containers that can be carried irrespective of weight, always greater than the number calculated by the Maersk method.[citation needed] As of 2012, the E class is still the largest by full-weight 14-tonne capacity. Marco Polo can carry 10,000 14 t containers, 16,020 if not fully loaded.[27][28]

On 21 February 2011, Maersk ordered a family of ten even larger ships from Daewoo, the Triple E class, with a capacity of 18,000 containers. A further ten ships were ordered in June 2011. The first was delivered in 2013.[29][30]

Engine and hull[edit]

She is powered by a Wärtsilä-Sulzer 14RTFLEX96-C engine, the world's largest single diesel unit, weighing 2,300 tonnes and capable of 81 MW (109,000 hp) when burning 14,000 litres (3,600 US gal) of heavy fuel oil per hour.[31][32][33]

At economical speed, fuel consumption is 0.260 bs/hp·hour (6,284 L/hour).[34] She has features to lower environmental damage, including exhaust heat recovery and cogeneration.[35] Some of the exhaust gases are returned to the engine to improve economy and lower emissions,[36] and some are passed through a steam generator which then powers a Peter Brotherhood steam turbine and electrical generators. This creates an electrical output of 8.5 MW,[37] equivalent to about 12% of the main engine power output. Some of this steam is used directly as shipboard heat.[38] Five diesel generators together produce 20.8 MW,[37] giving a total electric output of 29 MW.[26] Two 9 MW electric motors augment the power on the 150 meter main propeller shaft,[37] the longest in the world.[39]

Two bow and two stern thrusters provide port manoeuvrability, and two pairs of stabilizer fins reduce rolling.[37] A special silicone-based paint, instead of biocides used by much of the industry, keeps barnacles off the hull.[21] This increases her efficiency by reducing drag while also protecting the ocean from biocides that may leak. The paint is credited with lowering the water drag enough to save 1,200 tonnes of fuel per year.[40] The ship has a bulbous bow, a standard feature for cargo ships.

The turning diameter at 44 km/h (24 knots) is 1.50 km (0.81 nmi). The engine is near midship to make best use of the rigidity of the hull and to maximize capacity.[39] When the ship rolls 20 degrees, the bridge sways 35 metres.[41] The ship's anchors weigh 29 tons each and each chain-link weighs 200 kg.[42]

Sailing schedules[edit]

Her regular round trip is between northern Europe and the far east via the English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Suez Canal, calling at Ningbo, Xiamen, Hong Kong (westbound), Yantian (westbound), Algeciras (westbound), Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Algeciras (eastbound), Yantian (eastbound), Hong Kong (eastbound), and Ningbo.[6][43][44]

As of April 2011, the schedule included Gdańsk, Aarhus, and Gothenburg.[45]


  1. ^ "American Bureau of Shipping: Official Registry Number D4150". Archived from the original on 26 May 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  2. ^ "ABS Record: Emma Maersk". American Bureau of Shipping. 23 July 2009. Archived from the original on 30 January 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  3. ^ Julie Holt (28 May 2010). "Ebba Mærsk beats world record". Ingeniøren. Archived from the original on 31 May 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  4. ^ Miranda Max. "The Secret Story Of Building The World’s Largest Container Ship" Archived 20 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine, shippinginsouthafrica.wordpress.com; accessed 5 March 2015.
  5. ^ Levinson, Marc (22 October 2020). "The Megaships That Broke Global Trade". Wall Street Journal.
  6. ^ a b "Sailing Schedule". Maersk Line. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Mighty Ships". discoveryhd.ca. CTV Global Media. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  8. ^ "National Bank of Denmark issues commemorative coin for the Emma Mærsk". National Bank of Denmark. 15 September 2011. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Here it comes Archived 22 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine" page 29-31, Maersk Post (June 2013); accessed 22 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Accident report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 January 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Emma Maersk ship faces leakage in Suez Canal". Egypt Independent/Al-Masry Al-Youm. 2 February 2013. Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  12. ^ Hjorth, Mikael (2 February 2013). ""Emma Mærsk" tog vand ind i Suez-kanalen". Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013. English translation Archived 11 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Hjorth, Mikael (2 February 2013). "Såret Mærsk-gigant undersøges af dykkere". Archived from the original on 11 February 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013. English translation Archived 11 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Kæmpe Mærsk-skib tager vand ind: Nu skal 13.500 containerne læsses af". Politiken. 2 February 2013. Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013. English translation Archived 11 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Emma Maersk: after immediate repairs, the onward journey begins". Maersk Line. 15 February 2013. Archived from the original on 24 February 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  16. ^ "Arrivata a Palermo la Emma Maersk la portacontainer più grande del mondo". 25 February 2013. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  17. ^ KRISTIANSEN, TOMAS (13 August 2013). "This is how the Emma Maersk bill will be settled". ShippingWatch. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  18. ^ OLE ANDERSEN. "Emma Maersk sails again Archived 27 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine" ShippingWatch, 1 August 2013. Accessed: 22 September 2013.
  19. ^ TOMAS KRISTIANSEN. "Here comes the bill for Emma Maersk Archived 27 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine" ShippingWatch, 13 August 2013; accessed 22 September 2013.
  20. ^ "Namegiving of newbuilding L 203" (Press release). Odense Steel Shipyard. 8 December 2006. Archived from the original on 13 July 2007.
  21. ^ a b Koepf, Pam (2006), "Overachievers We Love", Popular Science, 269 (6): 24
  22. ^ Vessels Archived 12 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Maersk Line, 1 June 2010; accessed 16 June 2010.
  23. ^ Alexander Bakker. "Big, bigger, biggest". Port of Rotterdam. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  24. ^ Emma Maersk (PDF) Archived 27 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "Giant Christmas goods ship docks". BBC News. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  26. ^ a b Røe, Magne A. Logistics of building large ships Archived 21 January 2013 at archive.today Det Norske Veritas, 23 September 2008; retrieved 31 August 2010.
  27. ^ "CMA CGM MARCO POLO". Archived from the original on 27 December 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  28. ^ "The race among the world's biggest ships begins". Archived from the original on 8 June 2020. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  29. ^ Maersk orders up to 30 of biggest container ships on trade Archived 28 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, businessweek.com, 21 February 2011; accessed 21 February 2011.
  30. ^ "E-class successor" Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, worldslargestship.com; accessed 5 March 2015.
  31. ^ "Wärtsilä RT-flex96C technical information". Archived from the original on 18 November 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  32. ^ Wartsila Sulzer RTA96-C / Engine page Archived 10 April 2020 at the Wayback Machine, at official website for ship.
  33. ^ The Largest And Most Powerful Diesel Engine in The World Archived 15 February 2020 at the Wayback Machine, amusingplanet.com.
  34. ^ Emma Mærsk Archived 30 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine Ship Technology. Retrieved: 31 August 2010.
  35. ^ Waste Heat Recovery (WHR): Fuel savings with less emissions Archived 16 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Wärtsilä Corporation, 2006. Accessed: 4 December 2010.
  36. ^ Holsting, Robert. Emma Mærsk, information & data Archived 1 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine Robse. Accessed: 26 February 2011.
  37. ^ a b c d Distinctive ships 2006 AllBusiness, 1 December 2006. Retrieved: 31 August 2010. Archived 15 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ "The world's most powerful Engine enters service" (Press release). Wärtsilä Corporation. Archived from the original on 28 April 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  39. ^ a b Bebbington, Tom (16 November 2016). "Emma Maersk - One decade on..." Container Logic | Liner Shipping Consultants. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  40. ^ Photo archive Archived 26 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine March 2015.
  41. ^ Solmer, Henrik. Q&A with Captain of Emma Mærsk Archived 20 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, dr.dk, 20 February 2007; retrieved 24 July 2010.
  42. ^ "Emma Maersk - the largest container ship in the world".
  43. ^ Emma Maersk trip 1006 schedule Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Cargo in China, retrieved 31 August 2010.
  44. ^ Sailing schedules Archived 29 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine page 5 Maersk Line. Retrieved: 31 August 2010.
  45. ^ Emma Mærsk schedules Archived 7 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine Mærsk, 5 December 2011; accessed 6 December 2011.

External links[edit]