Maersk's Triple-E line of supersized cargo ships are already among the largest sea-faring vessels to ever set sail. Now the Danish shipping group can add another feather to its cap with the successful transport of more than 17,600 TEU containers. No other ship has ever carried that much on a single trip.

The Mary Maersk set off from Algeciras, Spain with a world record-breaking 17,603 TEU (twenty foot equivalent, the standard size of international shipping containers) crates aboard. Even more amazing is that the Mary Maersk wasn't even operating at full capacity. It can hold as many as 18,270 crates, but operational restrictions at the port prevent it from loading fully.

"Algeciras has been preparing for full utilization of the Triple-E for more than a year," Carlos Arias, head of the South Europe Liner Operations Cluster, said in a press statement. "This included the upgrading of four existing cranes and the arrival of four new Triple-E cranes."

The destination port at Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia has undergone similar upgrades ahead of the Mary's historic delivery as has the Suez canal, a vital cut-through for post-PanaMax ships that eliminates the need to sail all the way around the Horn of Africa. [GCaptain]