Here at Jalopnik, we love a big ship. Whether it’s a new record-breaking vessel launch or an older ship that’s jammed itself in an essential shipping route, we’re here for all our chonky boat boys. So today, we’re excited to share with you news of a brand-new world’s biggest container ship, and it’s a beast.
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Called the MSC Irina, the new ship was launched in March 2023 and made its first stop at the container terminal of Nansha Phase II of Guangzhou Port. In the process, it set a new record for the largest container vessel to ever dock at the Chinese port.
But just how big is this gargantuan vessel? Well, pretty damn big. From stern to bow, the MSC Irina measures a whopping 1,312 feet, and it’s more than 200 feet wide. Across those impressive dimensions, it has space to carry precisely 24,346 containers — that’s 158 more standard 20-foot containers than the next biggest ship currently in operation.
Those lofty dimensions might be tricky to wrap your head around at first, so here are a few things you can compare the MSC Irina to for scale. At 1,312 feet long, it would be roughly the same height as the Empire State Building if you tipped it on its side. Without its spire, New York’s most famous building measures 1,250 feet, or 1,454 feet if you include the spire.
When it comes to its width, the new ship is roughly the same size as the New York landmark’s north-to-south dimension at street level, which is precisely six Ford Broncos wide. The Empire State Building does have the upper hand when you look at its width east-to-west, as it measures 424-feet (or about 13 Ford Broncos) across 34th Street.
And, while we’re comparing the MSC Irina to the Art Deco skyscraper, the number of containers the ship carries is equivalent to the number of visitors the Empire State Building welcomes to its observation deck over two and a half days. Impressive.
So, where can you expect to see this monster container ship once it makes its way out of Guangzhou Port? Well, Marine Insight reports that it will sail from China to Europe once it has been filled with containers. There, it will dock in Italy and regularly serve the China-Europe trade channel.