Top 7 Largest Ship Types Of The Oceans
Many types of ships help transport people, goods and commodities around the world. These ships carry 90% of all cargo and commodities. They contribute to a vibrant world economy based upon the competitive advantage of each trading nation.
Marine vehicles can be small boats or huge ships. All of them have their role to play. Many gigantic ships have been specially engineered to and constructed. They provide “economy of scale” to transport the huge quantities of commodities and manufactured goods that are part of the global trade.
These ships include oil tankers, bulk carriers and many other huge ships. Also the protection of maritime trade routes often requires the deployment of huge aircraft carriers. These super big ships are so awesome and gigantic that it fuels the imagination of many. How are such vessels built? How big are they? How fast do they travel? So many questions!
The following types of ships represent the largest of these specialized ships. All of these ships with one exception are more than 300 meters long.
Huge quantities of oil are needed to fuel the growing industrial economies of Europe, USA, East Asia since the 1960s. Such huge quantities have traditionally been carried economically by giant oil tankers or simply called Supertankers. The largest supertanker ever built was the Batillus class supertankers. These 414 meters long vessel carry as much as half a million tons of oil. These Batillus supertankers have been scrapped.
The current biggest supertanker titleholder belongs to the T1 class supertankers. Each of these ships is 380 meters long and can carry 450,000 tons of oil. They are designed for the long haul between the Arabian Gulf to Europe, China or even the USA and Canada. They are the workhorses of the Oil industry.
To cater to the expanding maritime recreation and cruising demand, mega cruise ships have been built. Many cruise ships sail out of a home port. For instance, in Fort Lauderdale, each Cruise ships pack in the thousands of holiday makers. They then make the trips to the Caribbean destinations including Cuba, Aruba and other golden beach destinations. Others thriving cruise ports operate in the Mediterranean, the Alaskan region, Singapore, Shanghai and other attractive ports.
The largest OASIS class ships (Symphony of the Seas) is 360 meters long. She was built in 2018. She can carry over 6000 passengers with 2000 person crew. Really awesome…… so many people in admirable luxury and comfort.
Although not commercial vessels per se, Aircraft Carriers help to preserve maritime security and safety. They help to keep sea lanes in turbulent waters of the world open. They are thus very important to world trade and commerce. Aircraft Carriers also help project the naval supremacy of the country. Each can carry large number of personnel as well as aircrafts and airborne vehicles.
The NIMITZ class aircraft carriers are the most notable as they helped project US power in many of the oceans of the world. These 333 meters long aircraft carriers are nuclear powered and deliver massive 190MW to four screw propellers. Such vessels are capable of high speeds of 30 knots making them one of the fastest surface vessels ever sailed. They also can accommodate 6000 personnel. Incredible monsters!
To feed expanding populations and development across the world, large quantities of commodities have to be transported across the oceans and seas. These bulk carriers, as the name suggests, carry huge quantities of bulk cargo in 7 to 9 gigantic tanks built on board the ship. Aside from clean bulk like grain and beans, these vessels can also carry dirty bulks like mineral ores and coal.
The Valemax class bulker are 360 meters long vessels and are built from 2011 to 2018. They can each carry up to 400,000 tons of cargo.
These container ships normally carry manufactured products which includes all types of electronic products, machineries, spare parts etc. Containers ships are fairly recent but they have become the tireless workhorses for the oceans. Goods are packed into each container at the loading port. The containers are then loaded into the holds of the ships. At the discharging port, the containers are taken by gantry cranes and loaded on to container trucks. The containers are then delivered to the customers. There the goods are unpacked from the container and sent out for distribution.
The biggest container ship ever is the MOL Triumph which was built in 2017. This 400 meter-long ship can carry over 20,000 twenty-foot containers. Her speed is 22 knots which makes her one of the fastest large ships.
LNG (or Liquefied Natural Gas) has been regarded as a environmental friendly gas fuel. It is preferred to liquid hydrocarbon fuel or coal. The proliferation of power stations around the world further increases the demand for LNG. Besides electricity production, transportation and other industrial uses have increased the demand for LNG. This key routes are from the LNG fields in Australia, South East Asia to the industrial West. Europe, Japan, China and USA also are huge consumers of LNG.
Mammoth LNG ships have been constructed to feed the expanding appetite for LNG. The current largest LNG ship title belongs to the Q-Max class LNG ships operated by Qatar. Built from 2008 onwards, each of these 360 meter-long ships can carry about 120,000 tons of LNG.
Germany was once one of the world’s largest automobile makers and exporters for many years. Japan followed by South Korea later caught up with Germany. These countries exported millions of cars to the external world since the 1960s. Mega car carriers were constructed to cater to this demand. They helped to transport the cars to their markets.
These carriers could accommodate thousands of cars within their huge belly. All of which can be safely and quickly transported to their destinations. The cars are rolled on to the ships at the loading port. At the destination port, these cars are rolled off the ship. These ships are sometimes known as RoRo ships.
The biggest Car carrier currently is the HOEGH Autoliner class car carriers. Each of this 200-m long ship can carry 8,500 cars within the many decks in the ship. Their internal spaces can be configured to carry heavy trucks whenever the need arises. Although car carriers are much shorter than the supertankers or mega-bulkers, they are awesome in the large numbers of vehicles they can carry.