Container Ships


Container ships are cargo ships that carry all of their load in truck-size intermodal containers, in a technique called containerization.

An intermodal container is a large standardized shipping container, designed and built for intermodal freight transport, meaning these containers can be used across different modes of transport – from ship to rail to truck – without unloading and reloading their cargo.

A cargo ship or freighter is any sort of ship or vessel that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another.

Containerization is a system of intermodal freight transport using intermodal containers made of weathering steel.

The World Biggest Container Ship: The Majestic Maersk | FT World by Financial Times


They are a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport and now carry most seagoing non-bulk cargo.

Intermodal freight transport involves the transportation of freight in an intermodal container or vehicle, using multiple modes of transportation, without any handling of the freight itself when changing modes.

Skagen Maersk Container ship leaving Savannah GA 7/29/2012 by Namerifrats


Container ship capacity is measured in twenty-foot equivalent units.

The twenty-foot equivalent unit is an inexact unit of cargo capacity often used to describe the capacity of container ships and container terminals.


Typical loads are a mix of 20-foot and 40-foot ISO-standard containers, with the latter predominant.


Today, about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is transported by container, and modern container ships can carry over 19,000 TEU.


Container ships now rival crude oil tankers and bulk carriers as the largest commercial vessels on the ocean.

A bulk carrier, bulk freighter, or bulker is a merchant ship specially designed to transport unpackaged bulk cargo, such as grains, coal, ore, and cement in its cargo holds.

An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil.

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