The world’s biggest ship visited Sweden last weekend, or... well, sort of.
Emma Maersk, streamlined and proudly showing off her Maersk-blue color, passed by Skillinge, Skåne on her way from Gdansk, Poland, towards Asia.
Container ships pass by outside Skillinge all the time, but Emma Maersk is a bit different. She is indeed one of the biggest ships in the world (she now has seven sisters in the Maersk fleet): 1,302 feet in length (that's almost 4 American football fields, one after the other..), with a 184 feet beam and weighing 170,974 in gross tonnage.
In spite of her enormous size, Emma Maersk need no more than 13 staff. She can take on 22 containers side-wise and 8 height-wise, and she travels only between Europe and Asia. As consumption increases so do the frequency of these enormous type of container ships, explains Johan Mårtensson at the maritime company SIN Offshore.
“It used to be that the big ships turned around in Rotterdam, for instance, the merchandise was then reloaded into smaller boats that continued to Gdansk, but the last few years the big ships go all the way,” he explains. Gdansk is the only port in the Baltic Sea for container traffic over the ocean. From here, the merchandise is transported down to Europe.
Emma Maersk, her maiden trip departed from Århus on September 12 in 2006. She is owned by the Danish A.P. Møller-Maersk Group, and is the first container ship in the so-called E-class of eight owned by that group. She is pretty and pretty fast too, at 25.5 knots or 29.3 miles per hour.