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Guide to Container Ships Part 2

In last month’s edition we taught you what you need to know about two types of ships, in case you’re curious about the types of ships your goods come over on. We learned about the Panamax that can carry 660,000 cubic feet of product with full-TEU load. The post-panamax out carries its predecessor with big post-panamaxes that can hold up to 1.5 million cubic feet.

Need a reminder what those terms are? We don’t blame you. A TEU is a 20 foot long, 8-foot tall metal container that can fit approximately 1,360 cubic feet of product inside. The containers are so big, that some eco-friendly people repurpose retired containers into houses.

As modern technology advances, ships keep getting bigger. At this point, it’s hard to tell how much bigger they can go. Each new mega-ship seems like the largest possible until the next one is built. We already learned about two, so let’s explore another ship below.

The Suezmax

The Suezmax ship family is big enough to fit through the Suez canal, but not by much. They need to have maximum 20.1 draft with a beam no wider than 50.0, or 12.2 meters or draught for ships with ma beam of 77.5m. They are usually 275 meters long. The max they can be due to the Suez Canal Passage requirements.

Suezmax ships pass through the Suez canal in Egypt that connects the Mediterranean to the red sea. They can carry anywhere from 12,000 to 15,000 TEU depending on the load of product. Their DWT (deadweight tonnage) is between 120,000 to 200,000 pounds.

200,000 is the limit for now, but Egypt is thinking about deepening the canal’s depths a few more meters to allow for bigger loads in the coming years. Post-Suez-Max? Experts in the field predict that in 10 years Suezmaxes will reach an 18,000 load TEU and have a max draft of 21 meters.

As you can tell, ships are sized by the depth of canals they fit through. Some boats, however, don’t need to use canals. There are more types of ships than we have time to explore in this article. Check back next time for a profile of the world’s largest container ships and the equivalent of what they could carry.

Contain Your Excitement

If learning exactly how big the boat your products could be passing over to the US doesn’t thrill you, maybe our expertise will. Our business has been working with the customs agency for the last 15 years. We’re based out of Seattle and are always available during Chinese business hours to be more accessible to our clientele. Got questions? Ask us anything, we’ll have your answer.

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