The port of Baltimore welcomed its largest container ship ever — just how big is it?

The Gunde Maersk, which has a capacity to handle 11,000 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) containers, arrived at the Seagirt Marine Terminal. It is the largest ship yet to enter the Port of Baltimore.  (Jerry Jackson, Baltimore Sun video)

The port of Baltimore on Monday hosted its largest-ever container ship, the 1,200-foot-long Gunde Maersk.

The Danish-flagged behemoth is the latest monster-sized container ship to call in Baltimore through the expanded Panama Canal, buoying the port’s container business to record highs.


Officials credit the foresight of the port’s namesake, the late U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, to build 50-foot-deep channels and enter a public-private partnership with Ports America Chesapeake, resulting in larger cranes that can unload the larger ships.

Just how big is this ship?

» The deck is more than three football fields long, with room to spare.

» The Maersk Line can carry 11,000 20-foot equivalent unit containers, the equivalent of about 5,500 full-size truck trailers.

» Its deadweight tonnage (the full weight of the ship unloaded), 115,993 tons, is roughly equal to four and a half Statues of Liberty.

» The Gunde Maersk was built in 2008.

» The ship loaded in China in late September before sailing to Panama, stopping in the port of Balboa on Oct. 13. It then traveled to Elizabeth, New Jersey, arriving there Wednesday before sailing for Baltimore and arriving Sunday.

» The Gunde Maersk requires a draft of nearly 43 feet.

» While massive and one of the largest when it was built, the Gunde Maersk and its sister vessels is nowhere near the largest containerships in the world anymore. That distinction belongs to the OOCL Hong Kong, launched in 2017, which can carry the equivalent of about 21,400 20-foot containers, or 10,700 full-size truck trailers.

» Maersk Line also has its own much larger containership, the Madrid Maersk, which can carry the equivalent of about 20,568 20-foot containers, not quite twice as many as the Gunde Maersk.