CMA CGM Marco Polo

The World's largest containership

396 meters long / 16,000 TEUs


Are all the containers travelling on the MARCO POLO similar ?

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The CMA CGM MARCO POLO is the largest container ship in the world. It is 396 meters long and can theorically carry up to 16,000 containers. But are all these containers travelling on the ship similar? No, they are not ! Though some containers might look the same from the outside, they are very different. And it’s not only size and color that differentiates them.

As a matter of fact, in addition to promoting eco-friendly technologies for its vessels, the CMA CGM Group has an on-going policy to innovate and develop eco-containers. On the larger ships, such as the MARCO POLO, use of these containers saves one to two tons of fuel a day, which represents a saving of at least three to six tons of CO2 emissions. The CMA CGM Group uses different types of eco-containers to tackle environmental challenges:

  • Bamboo-flooring eco-containers: in 2005, CMA CGM was the first shipping group to develop and invest in innovative bamboo-floor containers which meet two objectives: to minimize the use of wood from valuable primary forest while improving the container’s technical qualities. Today, the Group has completed the purchase of 50,000 bamboo containers of which 25,000 are “Light Steel” containers.
  • Light Steel containers: in 2008, the Group started a new venture when it introduced the first light steel containers to its fleet. This generation is made from strong, resistant high tensile steel which saves 550kg on a High-Cube’s tare weight without compromising its structural qualities.
  • Low energy reefer: CMA CGM has 26,000 reefers (specialized containers for perishable products, requiring an energy source and refrigerants) equipped with lower energy motors, reducing electricity and fuel consumption by up to three times.
  • Eko-Flor containers: there is no wood in the flooring of these containers. The flooring is made of a synthetic resin that offers numerous advantages, not least the fact it is lighter, saving on energy to transport the container, and is totally resistant to all types of products (water, oil, odours, microbes, etc.).

Ludovic Gérard, Vice President CMA Ships says: “The demand in the future will be for ever cleaner vessels to transport goods. All our teams are involved in this process, be it on a day-to-day basis in the management and improvement of the ships currently in service or in the design of future vessels. This quality customer service approach of the Group is now recognised and appreciated.”

*teu: twenty-foot equivalent unit


On 5 November, the CMA CGM Group took delivery of the biggest vessel in its fleet and currently the world’s largest (capacity) containership, the CMA CGM MARCO POLO capable of carrying up to 16,000 TEUs.
With this blog, you will find out all about the vessel as well as many interesting aspects of a merchant fleet: from building the vessel, to training those who sail on her, the goods carried and the technical innovations to protect the environment.