New 61,000-tonne ship has crew of just nine

A new 250m container ship will run with just a crew of nine


who say they need help to run their boats should consider themselves lucky – a

huge new container ship that has just entered service is expected to be

operated by a total complement of just nine men. The 61,000-tonne Safmarine

Chilka is the first of a series of so-called WAFMAX (West Africa Maximum) ships

built for Danish container giant A.P Moller-Maersk.


captain and his crew will spend much of their time at sea ensuring that the

249m long vessel – that’s an equivalent of over 27m per man – is navigated

safely. They will also need to ensure it is properly maintained and that its

36,000 horsepower diesel engine runs smoothly, so each crewman will welcome the

chance to relax in his own well-appointed cabin.


Chilka has been purpose-built for the trade with Africa and has been deployed

on Moller-Maersk’s Safmarine Line between the Far East and Africa.