The ship-making capital of the world is located in Okpo, Korea. The town is home to Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. Not far of is Hyundai Heavy Insdustries, the world’s largest ship producer, and Samsung Heavy Industries.
Workers in Okpo are currently building the biggest boat ever to hit the seas, a class of huge container ships for Danish shipping giant Møller-Maersk. Dubbed the Triple-E, these massive ships are 1,312 feet long — that nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall — and 194 feet wide. Without cargo, the ships weigh in at 55,000 tons. Their Danish owners are paying $185 million for each ship and have ordered 20, Bloomberg notes.
The Triple-E’s will have the ability to carry 18,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEU). That compares to just 6,000 TEU for the Regina Maersk class of vessels built in the 1990’s. Translated into products, a Triple-E can transport 111 million pairs of sneakers or 182 million iPads from one port to another
But the Triple-E’s sheer size is also a huge risk for its owners. The company adapted existing container ship technology to design the massive ships. Work on the first vessel began in May 2012, with Danish royalty on hand for the kickoff.
The quarter-mile-long ships take about a year to build and are operated by a crew of 22. The first Triple-E, the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, entered service this year.