The capacity of the container ship fleet is growing for the first time in many years. What do these new vessels look like? Will they continue to break capacity records? Are they more sustainable? We look at trends based on new vessel orders by the major shipping lines.

Carles Rúa Carles Rúa is the Strategic Projects and Innovation Manager at Port de Barcelona and Director of the Master’s degree in Executive in Supply Chain Management at the UPC.

Javier Garrido Javier Garrido is a researcher at the Center of Innovation and Transport (CENIT) and PhD student at Port de Barcelona.

In June 2022, the Chinese shipyard Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding officially handed over to Evergreen the Ever Alot, the largest container ship ever built. With a capacity of 24,004 TEU, it is the first to break the 24,000 TEU barrier. The MSC Tessa, with similar dimensions to the Ever Alot, but with a slightly larger capacity of 24,116 TEU, will be delivered shortly.

Will these two container ships set the trend for the industry? Will we continue to see bigger and bigger ships? Are the economies of scale of mega-ships beneficial for the environment? What other innovations will come out of shipyards in the coming years?

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