How much fuel does a container ship carry?
Fuel is a complementary element of the commercial distance on the ship’s route and the optimum speed of its engine. The amount of fuel a ship stores and transports in fuel tanks for use varies depending on the ship’s engine capacity and size.
For example, CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin carries about 4.5 million gallons of fuel. Ship fuel volume is turned into a universal measure for easier understanding. This amount is equivalent to 16,000 cubic meters in Benjamin Franklin in cubic meters.
A ship of this volume, which can carry 18,000 twenty feet equivalent unit (TEU) containers, is considered an ultra-large container ship. Ultra large container ships are used more often to bring goods from Asia to Europe. For example, these ships are the transportation vehicles that push the cost plans of China’s New Silk Road project the most. Costs are much lower than air and land transportation, if speed and time factors remain secondary.
Container ships that can pass through the old Panama Canal are called Panamax ships and usually carry 5,000 TEU containers. These ships typically carry 1.5 million to 2 million gallons of fuel.
Many container ships to the US are considered Panamax or New Panamax because they are bigger and can pass through the renewed Panama Canal. These ships are generally in the range of 8,000-14,000-TEU. Vessels in this size range can carry 2.5 million to 3.5 million gallons of fuel.
The amount of fuel used depends primarily on the speed of the ship. Most ship engines are designed for the highest speeds of 20 to 25 knots per hour, that is 23 to 28 miles per hour. A Panamax container ship can consume 63,000 gallons of sea fuel per day at this speed.
Fuel consumption drops sharply as speed decreases. If a container ship reduces its speed by 10%, it can reduce fuel use by a third.
Since the 2008-2009 recession, large transporters have slowed their ship speed to 19 mph. By reducing the speed, the amount of fuel consumption decreases. However, container transportation is a matter of account books covering all of the effective factors. Fuel is one of them. The truth is that container transportation and exchange has to be programmed correctly and intelligently according to supply, and the number or size of ships needs to be organized by sticking to it.