Just how big is the world's largest cargo ship? Big enough to make a human being feel very, very small, according to National Public Radio (NPR) reporter Jackie Northam. Northam recently hitched a ride on the Maersk McKinney MÃ¸ller from Gdansk, Poland, to Aarhus, Denmark, and reported on her experience.
A recurring theme in Northam's report is the stupendous size of the vessel, the first of Maersk's 18,000-TEU Triple E Class ships; Northam noted that it is a quarter-mile long and as tall as a 20-story building. She also mentioned the issue of limited port access for such enormous ships and noted that the ship departed more than 12 hours behind schedule because it took the Gdansk stevedores longer than expected to load and unload the many containers.
The report touched off a lengthy and rather nitpicky debate among shipping geeks about vessel measurements, the Panama Canal, and port access. Both their comments and a transcript of Northam's report can be found on NPR's website.