The largest container ship in the world, MSC Irina, has commenced its service. With a TEU capacity of over 24,300, it surpasses all other container ships in terms of size. MSC Irina, sailing under the flag of Liberia, is the first of six vessels to be constructed by the Chinese shipbuilding group Jiangsu Yangzijiang. Notably, the ship emits 3-4% less carbon compared to similar vessels.
Construction of MSC Irina began in November 2021, with dock assembly commencing in June of the following year. It was first floated on August 10 and later floated out on October 29. In February 2023, the ship underwent sea trials before undergoing final work at Zhejiang Zhoushan Shipyard. It was delivered in early March.
The ship’s maiden voyage involves an ocean-crossing journey from Qingdao to Busan, back to China, and then to Singapore, Italy, and Spain via the Suez Canal. On its return, it will make stops at ports in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
With a deadweight of 240,000 DWT, MSC Irina can carry more than 24,300 standard 20-foot shipping containers, stacking them up to 26 deep. It has a length of 399.9 meters (1,312 feet) and a beam of 61.3 meters (201.1 feet). While its dimensions are comparable to many existing vessels, its container capacity sets it apart, surpassing the previous record-holder, OOCL Spain, by over 150 TEU.
MSC, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, is the world’s leading container liner company. It operates a vast network of 675 offices in 155 countries and serves over 260 trade routes with its fleet of 730 vessels. Its cargo capacity amounts to approximately 4.6 million international standard container units (TEU), and its annual capacity reaches 23 million TEU.