Maersk’s engineering monster makes stop on maiden voyage

The world’s largest container ship, the Majestic Maersk, made a planned stop in its maiden voyage to cast a long shadow in Copenhagen Harbour this week, reaching almost as far as the nearby Little Mermaid. With only a few hundred metres separating the two, the contrast between Denmark’s most diminutive and gigantic national symbols couldn’t be more stark.


The Majestic is owned by the world’s largest shipping company Maersk Line and will transport up to 18,000 containers at a time between Europe and Asia. The ship’s state-of-the-art engineering is hoped to reduce the costs of shipping and help Denmark’s largest company stay ahead in the highly competitive container-shipping industry.


Majestic Maersk facts
Length     400 metres
Height     73 metres
Width     59 metres
Deadweight     192,800 tonnes
Maximum speed     23 knots (43 km/h)
Crew     22 (normal), 34 (maximum)


Recylable ship:
It will be possible to locate and recycle 95 percent of the ship’s main components. Ninety-eight percent of the ship is steel.


Triple-E stands for:
Economy of scale
Energy efficiency
Environmentally improved


The Triple-E is a new class of fuel-efficient container ships, designed for lower speeds and CO2 emissions. These vessels break the current record for container ship capacity and are expected to be the world’s largest ships in service.


Twin 32MW diesel engines drive two propellors at a lower design speed than traditional container vessels: so-called ‘slow steaming’. This reduces fuel consumption by 37 percent and CO2 emissions per container also by 37 percent.


Extra space is created by a u-shaped hull that can fit 18,000 containers. This is 16 percent more, 2,500 containers, than the previously record-holder, Emma Maersk. Each container is six metres long.


What the guests say:


Robert Broze, 77, retired:

My wife and I have been travelling through Europe and have now arrived in Copenhagen where we are visiting friends who brought us here today.


It’s quite a large ship, and it’s amazing to look at. Though I’m not sure it will fit through the new Panama Canal, or even the Northwest Passage.


It can carry 18,000 containers, which is unbelievable. I would like to find out more about it. It would be interesting to see the navigation equipment, but you have to be very careful with that. You don’t want to make a mistake with that!


Monsurat Nurudeen, 27, works for Maersk Drilling; Misha Madsen, 33, student:
Monsurat: I’m looking forward to the view from the bridge. I work for Maersk and have had the privilege of being on her little sister, the Emma Maersk. I was so impressed then; the sheer size just blows you away even if you don’t understand the technology.

It could definitely serve as a symbol for Denmark. The Little Mermaid is quite small, so I suppose they tried to compensate with these massive vessels.

Misha: I’m excited and curious to get onboard because its the biggest ship in the world and I want to see how it works.


Martin Malling, 27, student:

I live nearby, and when I heard that the biggest ship in the world had docked here, I came directly from school to check it out.


It definitely lives up to the hype. I didn’t even realise before now that it was called Majestic Maersk, but the name fits the ship perfectly. It’s pretty amazing and incredible that it can even float.


Maersk is the world’s biggest container company and that’s something to be proud of given that Denmark is such a small country. When we manage to accomplish something so big – its’ definitely something to be proud of. It’s a job well done.