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Big is beautiful? Maybe not, for safety reasons

If even smaller ships have structural-integrity issues, mishaps involving behemoths are too awful to imagine

The MSC Oscar, the world's largest container ship, is 396 m long and 59 m wide and can carry 19,224 20-ft containers. Its fuel consumption can be automatically controlled to factor in speed and weather conditions.

WHEN the the first purpose-built container ships appeared, they seemed enormous to those of us who were sailing on the general cargo ships of the time. While a large cargo liner built in the 1960s may have been about 8,000 gross register tons (grt), the ships heralding a new era just half a