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Currently, the Emma Maersk (above) and its sister ships
are the largest container ships in use. They are 65 meters
longer than the ships to the left, slightly slimmer (56
meters) and with a shallow draft (15.5 meters). The 8
ships of the
Emma Maersk class weigh about 170,000
tons - somewhat heavier and larger than ships like the
MSC Daniela. With care, an Emma Maersk ship could
likely carry 15,000 TEUs. Designs for an 18,000 TEU ship
470 meters long have been published but the increase in
length will limit ports of use. Loading and unloading
even with multiple cranes becomes a challenge as does
managing inter-modal connections especially miles of
waiting trucks.
The Malaccamax Tateyama was launched in
2002. She weighs 300,000 dead weight tons and
is 333 meters long by 60 meters wide with a
20.8 meter draft.
The U.S.S. George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) is the
same length, about 17 meters wider, has a draft
of less than 13 meters, and at 97,000 tons is
considerably lighter as well as far faster.
There have been various engineering proposals by Japanese and Chinese agencies over the years: one
Chinese plan called for construction over four years employing roughly 30,000 workers and costing 25
billion $US.  STX of South Korea has designed a 22,000 TEU ship that could not fit the Malacca Straits.