MSC’s new kid on the block – Irina – breaks records for biggest container ship

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) took the delivery of its 399.99 m long newest container ship – the MSC Irina – from Yangzijiang Shipbuilding recently. The 24,346 TEU ship dethrones the 24,188 TEU ‘OOCL Spain’, which hit the waters last month. The MSC Irina is the first of six giant ships from Yangzijiang and features a forward deckhouse plus a 6/14/4 bay set-up.

MSC, the world’s largest containerline, has also just taken delivery of the 24,116 TEU MSC Tessa, the first of eight sister ships that will deliver from yards belonging to state-run CSSC Group in China this year. CSSC and Yangzijiang are in collaboration with MSC to deliver 14 megamax ships, under its new building program that includes more than 130 ships across various size classes.

According to sources, MSC will be aiming for a fleet size of around 5.5m to 6m TEU as the optimum size for a global standalone shipping line once its vessel-sharing agreement with Maersk comes to an end in early 2025.

The jumboisation of containerships has seen vessel capacities nearly quadruple in size this century. However, over the past year orders from global carriers have tended to be for ships in the 16,000 TEU range, a more flexible size that can work across a range of tradelanes, rather than just the Asia-Europe route where today’s megamax ships are deployed.

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