MV Dali container counts

I’m very confused about the reports of container capacity on MV Dali…
Most reports are saying she is 10,000 TEU, and was carrying 4,679 TEU, or about half full… but when I look at the images, she looks completely loaded; I don’t see anywhere that another 5,000 TEU could have been loaded… could someone explain this discrepancy?

I can think of two possibilities, but don’t know if either is reasonable:

  1. there were no containers below deck at all… but why would they load her that way?? It would seem like it would make the ship more top-heavy.
  2. or maybe half the containers are empty, and maybe empty containers don’t count toward current loading??

Considering she was leaving the U.S. and headed to Sri Lanka, I would wager a large percentage onboard were empties. Also, I have not seen the source of your information, but are they quoting 4,679 containers instead of TEU? The majority of containers are FEU nowadays, so that 4,679 as a total of containers onboard would be fairly accurate for the profile she is carrying. Lastly, I have been container shipping for a long time and have never come close to the capacity as designed. A 10000 TEU ship in practice is more like a 8500 TEU ship.

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I can’t find the original post that I referenced, but it was somewhere here on gCaptain…
Here’s another article which references 4,679 TEU, in the first paragraph:

So are you saying that they don’t count the empty containers for the current loading??

I am saying that a TEU is a measure of twenty footers. An FEU is a measure of forty footers. Way more forty footers being shipped than 20 footers so you can apply that to the total containers onboard versus TEU count.
Total containers is usually close to half the TEU’s onboard. Empties are counted of course. They are 4 tons empty so they are typically on the top two or three tiers on deck.

I believe she was on the TP 12 (USEC - Far East) run:

PS> Because of the Red Sea situation they probably skipped Suez Canal and Salalah thought.

okay, so statements such as “loaded with 4,679 twenty-foot equivalent containers” is misleading and/or uninformed?? although this was a gCaptain article, so you would think the author would be specific in his wording…

I agree that 4,679 total containers (with most being 40 footers as usual) is very consistent with the situation. Thank you!

This opens up a whole other can of worms…


The cans are marked either “Reuters” or “Bloomberg” (Not known for their nautical knowledge)


At one time I might have thought that.

I’m afraid that John, Mikey, and worst of all Dr Sal, have made or posted some apparently ill informed, inaccurate, and unfortunate statements. Credibility at gCaptain has taken a hit amongst mariners.

On the other, hand news coverage of breaking events is usually only about 50% to 75% accurate. I once asked a newspaper publisher about this. He said it’s a question of never having enough money for a big enough staff of good reporters and editors to do a thorough job within time constraints. Undoubtedly, that’s the case at gCaptain too.


From gCaptain news :

Source : Baltimore Bridge Collapse: Underwater Sonar Images Reveal Extent of Destruction (

Story by Mike Schuler



TEU or not TEU ? , this is a question.

according to above she was half empty or may be half full .Who knows???


YES!!! This was the data table that I originally referenced; I couldn’t find it when I was replying to the posts above. Thank you for digging it up…

I think we all agree, at this point, that the accurate statement would have been “4,679 containers, most of which are 2 TEU, or 40-footers”, Aye??


The correct wording should be 4,679 containers. This includes 40’ FEU and 20’ TEU.

Upon reflection though , one must be very careful reading the data given in the news joints and even from other sources, which should know what they are talking about. I will give an example which I have nicknamed “Emma Maersk stupidity syndrome”.

And believe it or not there are folks in the management offices who either do not know the difference or do not understand it. Below is a screen shot from Wiki.

You will see two versions and they say " depending on definition" . Ship planners are interested in both figures . The lower one 11000 teu tells you how many 20 ft containers of 14 tons the vessel can accomodate and be on the Plimsol mark . Such load is called homogeneous load. Planners ask me" how many 14 tons homo can you take??" .

Then my obvious answer is " be so kind and have a look at the “effing” vessel description , what is an inalienable part of every " time charter party" and planner should have a copy and know it by heart."

In the stability booklet one may find other homo loads ( 10 ,12, etc ,etc) .but 14 T homo is the one which will always interest new Charterer when you switch time charter from MSC to Maersk for example.

The higher figure in case of Emma is the nominal intake meaning You have 14770 slots on the ship to accomodate 20ft containers and this figure one may check looking at the emty stowage plans .

Hence judging the vessel size by TEU figures may be misleading, better look at LOA, B, and Tmax ( draft at summer load line) . Cheers.

Addendum : below is part of M/V Dali description

One can see clearly what I was earlier talking about . Another tricky question is about reefers. In this table the authors made a fundamental blunder declaring the number of reefers the vessel can take. Never , ever make such declaration that you can load 1400 reefers. Declare only 1400 refer plugs. But this is off topic , hence I will stop . :joy:


Somewhere I saw a “lost” container count. It was small, but I don’t remember how many.

Some report said that there are 56 container of “hazardous materials” onboard. I’d call that a small number too. Most of the “Hazmat ” is probably relatively benign, like paint, Clorox, bug spray, nail polish, etc.


In all above comments, various opinions and facts are shown, some correct and some incorrect. As a Naval Architect & Maritime Engineer graduated (1970) from the Delft Technical University, I have designed and built a variety of ships, a.o. container vessels of different sizes. Always common practice has been, and still is, to caegorize containervessel in their carrying capacity. The Dali is of the 10.000 TEU class, with 9.971 slots for 20feet containers (TEU) whereof 1400 slots can accomodate reefer containers.
In general, any containervessel can load a mix of 20feet and 40feet containers, as the container-fittings on the hatches and the container-guides in holds and on deck are designed for such purpose… You can see that at the side of the ship. Looking at the various pictures you see the loading of the Dali : most forward is 1 bay of 2 rows of 20feet containers (partly fallen overboard), and in front of the accomodation-wheelhouse there are two holds with hatches which each accomodate 2 bays of 40feet containers; between accomodation and engine casing there are three holds with hatches which each accomodate 2 bays of 40feet containers; behind the engine casing there are two holds with hatches which each accomodate 2 bays of 40feet containers.
Each hold has three hatches side by side. Between the outer side of the side-hatches and ship’s hull, two containers can be stowed. These are stowed one or two less in height.
The hatches all are 5 containers wide. In front of the accomodation, containers on hatches are 8 high, all other hatches are 9 high.
We cannot see anything below deck, hence the container stowage there is unknown.
It is clear that there is a mix of 20feet and 40feet containers.
Consequently, the number of 4679 containers will be correct.

I hope to have given sufficient clarification, eliminating confusion or disbelief in the numbers given by the Authorities and ship’s Owners.

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Total. Not TEUs.


Spot on and You are damn right.

Alias Dieks
Your painstaking description of Dali stow and all the details regarding her design is greatly appreciated as it surely allowed those who have never seen the container vessel from the inside , gain better understanding . Trust your education and huge experience as You have been so kind to mention, will be a great asset on this forum and I would be only happy to learn much more from You as it is evident You have a lot to offer.
Thank You for confirming the correct figure of the total number of containers on board Dali.

Generally there will be stowage positions In number one hold that can only accommodate 20’ containers because of the shape of the space available. On many ships the pontoon lid is fitted with sprinklers that can connected to the fireman by a short length of hose supplied for the purpose if required.
Ammunition, nuclear isotopes and explosives are generally shipped in 20’ containers as are dense cargoes such as paint and sugar.
Export cargo from Australian, New Zealand and South Africa has cargo planners dusting off their worry beads over stack weights and every reefer plug available.


have marked with red thin lines when one can load 40ties in holds having other then rectangular shape. There are many combinations to make a mix stow with 40ies and 20ties