Check out the video and coverage from Global logistics Media on the naming ceremony for the Maersk Line Triple E vessel named for Maersk McKinney Møller. Son of the founder of Maersk line, Mr. A.P. Møller.
Having started in the shipping business working for US Lines in the early 80's I remember when the largest containerships in the world were the USL Econoships. 3500 TEU's if I remember correctly. To think that these new ships are 18,000 TEU's is mind boggling. The simple dynamics of managing the commercial acquisition of all that cargo every week to feed these beasts will demand not only very low rates, but also tight relations with major NVOCC's because no liner commercial organization could feed them alone. These ships are also ripe for vessel sharing agreements, though Maersk's capacity alone could feed them.
Maersk's previously largest vessels, of the Emma Maersk class, are 15,000 TEU's. No doubt these ships will be cascaded to other trades, and subsequently smaller ships will then move down the roster to other trades as well. This will create an influx of capacity in markets that may not need it. As I read one forwarder executive say this week, "on the transpacific eastbound trade, we can now pretty much name our price".