Triple-E set new standards

In 2011, Maersk Line ordered 20 ships of 18,270TEU at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in South-Korea. The ambitious goals of these vessels revolve around three main principles: economy of scale, energy efficiency & environment, and so the series were named Triple-E.


The Triple-E became the largest container ship in the world at the time when the first vessels were delivered, and it set new standards in the container industry, not just for size, but also of energy efficiency and environmental performance. With unique design features for slower speeds and maximum efficiency, vessels in this series emit 50% less CO2 per container moved than the current average on the Asia-Europe route.

As with most newbuilding projects in Maersk, Maersk Maritime Technology was involved in the Triple-E adventure from the very beginning.

MMT’s role in new building projects

As with most newbuilding projects in Maersk, Maersk Maritime Technology was involved in the Triple-E adventure from the very beginning.

In the first phases of a new building project, the engineers and naval architects in MMT assist in writing a suitable outline performance specification based on the owner’s requirements. Hereafter, they participate in the yard evaluation and selection.

After the right shipyard has been selected, in this case Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, the next step is to draft full ship specification, including negotiations with the yard. Once the contract is signed, we work together with the owners on a plan approval, where the design is optimised in terms of general arrangements, structures, machinery, electrical systems and paint systems.

In addition, the design may be scrutinised for energy efficiency. A site office is established at the yard with staff who supervise the new building project from the very first cutting of steel plates. Later, the site office team attend and supervise various acceptance tests onboard the ship and at major suppliers of, for example, main and auxiliary engines.

Upon completion and acceptance of sea trials, we hand over the vessel to the owner with all necessary documentation and certificates for a safe and efficient onward voyage of the vessel.

Even after the vessel has been taken into operation, MMT will analyse its performance and possibly work on optimisations, if necessary.

Working with a project of this scale is extremely interesting as the project outcome will have a direct impact on the overall result of Maersk Line. At the same time it is challenging to keep the full overview of the complexity of such a vessel design, where one decision may influence the effect of 10 other items.
Christian Løth, project manager, Engines & Propulsion in MMT
Close cooperation between Maersk Line and MMT 

During the entire Triple-E project lead time there was a high focus on optimisations and innovations. The risk associated with the innovations was mitigated where possible, for instance by combining proven technologies to a new application while always keeping reliability and safety at the forefront. Working closely with the business unit, the extensive experience from MMT and Maersk Line from operations and previous new building projects was combined though a continuous feed-back loop applying learnings from the past.  In total 85 persons from several MMT departments have been working on the project. Now there is a core team of 25 inspectors at the shipyard and about 3 persons from the office side. Christian Løth from Engines & Propulsion in MMT is the project manager and based in the headquarters in Copenhagen. He is now following the delivery of the remaining vessels and follows up on modifications done throughout the series. 

Performance so far 

 In order to see how the Triple-E actually perform, they were benchmarked against the second biggest vessel class in Maersk,  the Emma Class (15000 TEU), and against an industry standard class, the HHI 13100 TEU (TC) Classes.  This performance analysis showed that the Triple-E indeed are more fuel efficient than: to be precise, the efficiency was 25 % than the Emma Class and 36 % higher than the 13100 TEU (TC) Vessels. The total daily consumption (at sea) is less for the Triple E than both the Emma and HHI 13100 TEU (TC) vessels, even though the average speed is higher and the vessel is bigger. This means that the Triple-E live up to the high demands in fuel efficiency set out from the start.