Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Very Large Boatload

The Emma Maersk is one of three ships presently in service, with another two ships of this size to be completed in 2012. Commissioned by Wal-Mart, each ship can transport goods across the Pacific in just five days.

These ships can carry 15,000 tractor-trailer-sized containers. Each is longer than an aircraft carrier, and with its 207-foot beam (width), it won’t fit through either the Panama or Suez Canals. It needs only 13 people as its crew.

The Command Bridge is higher than a 10-story building. The ship has 11 cargo cranes that can operate simultaneously, unloading the entire ship in less than two hours.

A recent documentary on the History Channel noted that all of these containers are shipped back to China, empty. Yes, that's right … we send nothing back on these ships. So much for the trade balance.

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