an extract of our list of size record breaking container vessels from 1969 to 1984. Vessels listed in extract are: 1969: Encounter bay (1530 TEUs), 1971: Liverpool bay (2961 TEUs), 1972: Hamburg express (2984 TEUs), 1980: Neptune garnet (3268 TEUs), 1981: Frankfurt express (3430 TEUs), 1984: American New York (4614 TEUs), 1990: Magleby (4819 TEUs), 1994: NYK Altair (4953 TEUs)

Largest container ships by year

In the below table, you can find our list of largest container vessels, in terms of TEU capacity, by year – the record breaking container vessel of the year.

The data it contains is based on our own research and publicly available information. It is often based on our interpretation of possibly diverging or even contradictory information and therefore may contain incorrect information or certain record breaking vessels may have been missed.
If you spot an issue, feel free to leave a comment with a reference link and we will be happy to fix it.

Feel free to re-use this data / table but please share this page or as its source.

If a year or multiple year windows are not listed it means that based on our information the previous record breaking vessel was still holding the record.

For example, American New York was the largest container vessel from 1984 until 1990 when Magleby was built.

This data is used in our article on the largest container ships and the evolution of container ships which can be found here.

YearOriginal nameIMOTEU capacity
1969Encounter bay68184611,530
1971Liverpool bay71267622,961
1972Hamburg express71299342,984
1980Neptune garnet78193713,268
1981Frankfurt express79095923,430
1984American New York82126114,614
1994NYK Altair90739954,953
1995APL China90743895,108
1996Regina Maersk 90855226,418
1997Sovereign Maersk91208418,160
2003Anna Maersk92604218,272
2004CSCL Asia92859768,500
2005Gjertrud Mærsk93202339,074
2012CMA CGM Marco Polo945443616,020
2013Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller961990718,270
2014CSCL Globe969512119,100
2015MSC Oscar970329119,224
2016MSC Diana975593319,462
2017OOCL Hong Kong977617121,413
2019MSC Gülsün983943023,756
2020HMM Algeciras986329723,964
2021Ever Ace989389023,992
2022Ever Alot989395524,004
2023MSC Irina992942924,346
Our list of largest container vessels by year. Source –

Recommended reading – “The evolution of container ships and their sizes

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