In pictures: Building the worlds largest container ship

by | Aug 26, 2020 | Uncategorized


Okpo, a port in South Korea, is home to Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, a company constructing the world’s largest model of ship — 12 at a time. “The place is mind-blowing,” says photographer Alastair Phillip Wiper, who visited the ship for Wired on the eve of the departure of the ninth Triple-E class container vessel, the Matz Maersk. “This is just a small part of what they’re doing. They have 46,000 people building around 100 vessels — and everywhere you look there’s some surreal part of a ship that’s just about recognisable as something that should be underwater.”

Twenty Triple-E class container ships have been commissioned by Danish shipping company Maersk Lines. The vessels will serve ports along the northern-Europe-to-Asia route, many of which have had to expand to cope with the ships’ size. “You don’t feel like you’re inside a boat, it’s more like a cathedral,” Wiper says. “Imagine this space being full of consumer goods, and think about how many there are on just one ship. Then think about how many are sailing round the world everyday. It’s like trying to think about infinity.

Consumers of the regions responded by surging to grocery stores, hardware stores and gasoline stations with lines spanning for hours. A subtle reminder into the crucial role that trucking quietly plays into maintaining a sense of normalcy in our lives. The sudden spike in demand for everything from frozen pizzas, shovels to rock salt could have been met only by fast logistical planning and expedited shipments to stores by carriers.

During the blizzard, and especially in the days afterward, hundreds of thousands of pieces of heavy equipment and their drivers took to the roads to begin the recovery process, risking their own lives to ensure hundreds of thousands of others could get back out there more quickly. With snow accumulating so quickly, a number of plowing trucks got stuck and had to be towed. Luckily, the massive storm hit over the weekend and the impact wasn’t as drastic as if it were a weekday where commutes and transportation pipelines were in full swing.

Although these events and other natural disaster can never be effectively planned and even anticipated in some instances, there are a series of steps, known as Disaster Risk Management, which could reduce distributions:

  • Risk Assessment. The likelihood of an event and its potential impacts should be comprehensively assessed, such a low to high probability over a defined time frame and over a specific area (e.g. a city). This should provide a prioritization of risks, but it remains a very uncertain process.
  • Preparedness. In light of the potential risks a level of preparedness should be considered in terms of potential responses. This can involve the warehousing and positioning of relief material, such as fuel, parts and equipment, and the training of the labor force in emergency situations.
  • Mitigation. Concerns the immediate reaction to the event and can involve the shutting down of transport systems (particularly public transit), the evacuation of populations and the mobilization of first response resources, namely distributing emergency relief (food, medical supplies). The goal is to control and attenuate the disruptions caused by the disaster.
  • Response. Once the disaster has been mitigated, steps are implemented to bring back capacity with existing infrastructure. If a mode has been impaired, the usage of alternative modes and infrastructure has to be considered. The goal is to maintain operational as many elements of the transport system as possible.
  • Recovery. Concerns all the steps necessary to recover the transport capacity that was lost during the disaster. It can involve repairs, the restarting services that were discontinued as well as investments in new and improved infrastructures, modes and terminals. The goal is to bring back the capacity and level of service to pre-disaster conditions. With the lessons learned from the disaster, more resilient infrastructure and networks are a likely outcome

Just try to remember: Spring is only seven weeks away.

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