I got the rare opportunity to tour the DSME (Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering) yard in Okpo Bay, Geoje-Do South Korea a few years ago. I think it's the second largest shipyard in the world. It was really an unbelievable experience. Container ships are huge when they're in the water, but they're absolutely mind bogglingly immense in drydock, where individual sections dwarf most apartment buildings.
The range of ships they produce there is also rather mindblowing, in my tour I saw (in various stages of assembly) container ships, LPG transport vessels, crude oil ships, various navy ships and a handful of submarines among others.
The engineering going on is also fairly cutting edge. Problems like accurately predicting weld strength are still unsolved and they had a large computational modelling R&D programs I got a glimpse of while I was there.
If you squinted a bit, it almost felt like huge starships were being assembled there.
Down the street (more or less), in Gohyeon, is another huge shipyard which I think Samsung Heavy Industries runs.
An interesting note when you consider triple Es would just sit in the middle of the medium starship comparison chart, or at the very bottom of the large chart next to borg scout vessels
It's all very well showing a diagram of the Empire State Building stood on its side, but I would have loved to see even a single photo or 1 second of video where it was moving slowly past a landmark. Or even a long-shot of the harbor as it came out of port. Nope. All artistic "through the porthole" or other strange angles which never capture the whole ship.
Anyone got a resource which actually shows the ship in a setting which gives it some sense of scale, instead of, like this article, leaving all of that to the imagination?
EDIT: Just looked it up. I was way off. Over 4 HS football stadiums (including stands) end to end. Just 8' shy of a quarter-mile in length. And about the height of a 4 story building.
Not a direct answer, but:
On a whim, I put the question "what is the size of a container ship" to Wolfram Alpha, but got a reply that only had the definition of a container ship, and a message "computation time exceeded." :-)
Also googled for the same question; first few links were about the size of shipping containers instead, and there was also a link to the same NY Times articlethat this thread is about.
Sending a 20ft container on a typical China to Western Europe route costs about $1400. The journey by sea adds less than one cent to the wholesale cost of a small plastic widget, or about $1.50 to the cost of a desktop PC. There isn't a particularly great environmental footprint either - fuel is the biggest single cost in shipping, so low costs depend on astonishing levels of fuel efficiency.
Shipping is so cheap that all sorts of superficially absurd business practices make economic sense. Some British companies send locally-caught seafood to Thailand for processing, then ship it back to the UK to be sold domestically. It takes only a relatively small difference in labour costs to offset the cost of shipping.
The list price for the 777-300ER is $320.2 million .
The logistics though are still a problem. When one of them docks it dumps a lot of containers into the network which causes congestion exactly like packets in a network as this article http://www.citylab.com/work/2014/10/a-complete-guide-to-the-... points out.
"This Boeing 777 wing was tested to destruction, finally breaking at one fifty four percent (154%) of the designed limit load."
That said, some materials (carbon fiber composite) are expensive per gram than others (steel).
I would estimate 100% of people buy and transport food, and I can guarantee almost 100% would kill you rather than stop.
Making asinine comments is asinine. You might find it concerning that people use automobiles to get "freight" to their homes, but I find it quite reassuring. I for one don't want to be around when they stop.
You might have better luck on an oil tanker or car carrier.
These huge ships can create huge variations in the total TEU (twenty foot equivalent units) coming in at any given time. Containers can get lost under incoming containers for days/weeks because the port is playing Jenga.
I guess my point is that someone has to figure out the destination side logistics that will arise with ever increasing amounts delivered all at once.
Quite useful. Most ocean carriers, Maersk included, have horrible tracking of their shipments. No API, outdated and buggy IE4-ish sites, and inconsistent info. (I've used Selenium to web scrape data from ocean carriers before.)
Probably the most modern I've seen is Hapag-Lloyd, and they provide a email interface with a turnaround time of 5 minutes - then you can just scrape the results.
You imply there is a way to get shipping information? How does that work?
What depresses me about this forum is not one of you knows the relationship between the technology of the market (these wunderkind ships) and the market itself.
The Baltic Dry index crashed, hard, in 2008. (There are many reasons for this apart from the global economic crash - a lot of over-production, a lot of ships coming off-line but with replacements that needed extended loans that were put into question by the crash, extremely dodgy business practices in Greece and so on). It had a terrible year in 2012. And 2014 doesn't look much better.
I'd urge you to look at the figures, then work out just how well global trade is doing. Hint: paper over cracks.
A small crew of armed marines or mercenaries and perhaps some heavier stuff built into the ship would also work. The answer is though that it's not economically sensible today. (Which is actually a good thing because it means piracy is not that huge a problem in the scheme of things.)
Just plain false. Reading comprehension? I stated that the crew would have to make a request to have it launched. It could be remotely piloted by a US military organization or similar.
putting a portable military-grade weapons system on every container ship.
Remove the ability for the crew to operate it, and this ceases to be an insurmountable problem.
A small crew of armed marines or mercenaries and perhaps some heavier stuff built into the ship would also work.
And be much more expensive. My solution just required an extra half container be loaded and offloaded, plus routine inspection and maintenance. Mercenaries would entail big salaries, which was the whole point of my suggestion.
Also curious that the Suez canal is wider than the Panama?
The US government has been improving ports since its early days. In fact, the expenditure of federal funds on "internal improvements" such as port improvements was quite the contentious issue in the early republic. But most of the world's trade moves by sea, and the US is and always has been a maritime nation. The ROI for port improvements is laughably high, so it has always been a no-brainer.
Panama is working on a new set of locks and other expansions (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Canal_expansion_projec...) that will allow for post-Panamax ships.
Triple Es are 400m long and 59m wide, though their draft fits hair-tight (14.5m)
I was wondering the same thing (if they engineered the ship differently to better stop pirate attacks).
It's extremely difficult to imagine a world in which distributed, unspecialized manufacturing is actually a reasonable way for most people to get their goods.
One argument many people have made is look at the personal computing revolution, shouldn't we see the same thing in physical manufacturing?
And the answer is: yes, we will the same thing. But look at what is actually happening: you have a brief 20-30 year period in which distributed personal computing actually happens, but then once the internet comes about things have slowly started migrating back to centralization and specialization (ie: Facebook instead of distributed social networking).
I expect the same will happen with 3d printing. Sure, 3d printing might be the best way to print that obscure part you need for an old car. But for every day items? Unlikely that the efficiency gain made by getting rid of shipping is actually offset by printing something in your house on demand.
I think it'll work out like on-demand printing. That laser printer in your office is fine for printing out a one-off contract. But when the time comes to restock your company's collection of brochures, it's probably best to send out to have them printed on high-volume equipment that can do a better job of it.
Clothing sizes today are a messy approximation of what people actually want. It's a compromise between the ROI possible in a mass-production, mass-transport world, and the perfect fit.
News and music used to be produced and distributed like clothes--centralized production of a limited number of product options, which are then shipped to lots of people. Today people can completely customize their news and music consumption through a wide variety of dynamically personalized channels.
Personal manufacturing can do the same thing for tangible goods. But the current "3D printing" technology, which is extremely limited in terms of materials, size, durability, etc.
Even if you go full science fiction and have a machine that perfectly rearranges the atoms and you can buy specific atoms (a la Diamond Age), the guy who has a deal on bulk atoms needed to make a shirt will make it cheaper than you will make it in your kitchen on your maker.
Maersk's (and other similar companies') big idea was that if you put things in regularly sized containers, you can a) Calculate space very easily and use space efficiently b) Not worry about packing things at the dock and let the customer best pack the thing as opposed to you wasting time on it c) Use the same container to move the goods across ground too d)Reuse the container. So this was kinda IKEA flat packing before IKEA existed.
It really is hard to beat the economies of scale here - even the largest cargo planes move laughably small amounts compared to these things. Drones? No way.
Drone, I think, could disrupt something else, which is house delivery. Small weight, short distance. That's what it'd be good at.
If you want to disrupt this industry, a completely different mode of transport would have to be invented. Good luck building your teleporters or your ocean-length, frictionless rail lines, everyone!
That said, "Tea, earl gray, hot."....someday.
Ships still consume oil, and whenever one of those super cargo crash in the ocean, it's an environmental nightmare. And even when they don't, they're still polluting a lot ( i know, not that much compared to other means and the amount of goods they carry).
There's probably still a way to carry goods from china to europe in a more environment friendly way...
Maybe a modern unmanned sailing ship would fit.
It probably gets less useful as ships get bigger though and there's a long history of trying this sort of thing without a whole lot of success. Modern systems do have better automation however.
> Circling the world four or five times a year, it can move 1.4 million tons of cargo annually. That’s the equivalent of 1.8 billion iPads.
Such a strange comparison.