I accidently (?) pressed one of the commercial adds on my facebook pages and actually found it quite interesting.
The new Triple-E class container ship built by Daewoo – ordered by Maersk – is about to be commissioned. Maersk has ordered twenty of these guys to travel (half) the globe to carry cargo to and from us. Interestingly, the ship, with its 400×60-odd meters, cannot pass through the Panamas, nor dock to any port in the Americas. It can pass through the Suez though, and will mainly transport cargo between Europe and China.
When ignoring all other things like logistics, packaging, etc, etc., it leads to a couple of questions from my side;
How much can it carry?
Now, the interesting things: The ship can carry
18,270 TEU containers.
A TEU container has a volume of approximately 38.5 cub m. That makes a total of
703,395 cub m
on one of those beasts.
How much food is that?
According to assorted sources, approximately 1/2 cup of rice makes up one portion. Let’s round that upwards to 125 ml to feed us spoiled Europeans. That’s 1/8 of a liter, or 1/8000 of a cub m, i.e., we have 8,000 portions in a 1-by-1-by-1 meter box. In total we get
5,627,160,000 portions of rice
in a single container. “Almost” sufficient to feed the entire world’s population of some 7,100,000,000.
Considering that Maersk will have 20 vessels of this size, they could carry food for a couple of days around the world.
Sweden, with its mere 10,000,000 inhabitants could get
563 portions per person
from one of the ships. Assume we have rice twice a day, that would keep us going for a year or so (not too much rice pudding during Christmas though :|) .
So … is that a high or low number?