To tow boats. The world’s (temporarily) largest container ship, the “CMA CGM Marco Polo,” recently sailed into Hamburg with the tide. It had to be turned and moved into place rather quickly before the tidewater receded, and only a quarter of its 16,000-container capacity (in TEU, twenty-foot-equivalent units) could be shifted; advocates for deepening the Elbe river are using the visit as a PR action.
Larger container ships (18,000 TEU) are currently under construction in Korea for Maersk, and will ply the seas in 2013.
(Boog ZEEE ren.)