Big Ships for Products from China
The Emma Maersk is part of a Danish shipping line that crosses the Pacific in just 5 days. This is one of three ships presently in service (in 2011) with another 2 to be commissioned for completion in 2012. (Click each image to enlarge)
To provide a size perspective ...
This is how Made in China products are made available in North America to displace locally manufactured goods. Consumers cannot be unhappy.
These ships were commissioned by Wal-Mart to get their goods from China. Each ship holds an incredible 15,000 containers and has a 207-foot wide deck beam. The full crew is just 13 people on a ship longer than a Nimitz Class US Aircraft Carrier which has a crew of over 6,000. With its 207' width it is too big to fit through the Panama or Suez Canals.
It is strictly Transpacific with a cruise speed of 31 knots.
The goods arrive 4 days before the typical container ship (18-20 knots) on a China-to-California run. 91% of Wal-Mart products are made in China. So this behemoth is hugely competitive even when carrying perishable goods.
The ship was built in five sections. The sections were floated together and then welded. Silicone paint applied to the ship bottom reduces water resistance and saves 317,000 gallons of diesel per year. Construction cost is more than $145 million USD.
The command bridge is higher than a 10-story building and has 11 cargo crane rigs that can operate simultaneously to unload the entire ship in less than two hours. These ships return to China empty. It is unfortunate that the ship is not utilized to transport U.S. goods back to China in an atempt to balance international trade.
It is well-known that this leads to the elimination of North American manufacturing jobs. What is a consumer to do? Pay higher prices for locally manufactured goods? It is an economical dilemma which needs a solution, not only in North America but worldwide except for China.