The Empire State Building is four floors (or decks) shorter than the largest container vessel in the world. Today, more than 5,000 comparable container ships travel the oceans of the world, transporting the majority of the global population’s consumer products from their manufacturers to their intended markets.
These mighty vessels are arguably the driving force behind the global economy, but just 60 years ago they did not exist. In 1956, Malcolm McLean changed the cargo shipping industry forever by introducing the idea of container shipping. Since then, the arms race to build the biggest ships has been raging on, driving the shipbuilding industry to create the biggest ships allowed by science and the boundaries of physics. Today, the world’s largest container ships are easily the biggest vehicles ever constructed. Here is our countdown of the ten largest container ships operating today.