When cruising an ocean aboard a cargo ship and looking out the window from your small yet cozy room, you may expect to see gorgeous views of the water, but you'd be wrong. Instead, your eyesight will be blocked by piles of containers.
Though trade frictions between the US and China are escalating, the trade between China and Europe remains on track, as evidenced by the mounting number of containers on the cargo ships.
Countless containers at the front of the vessel. /CGTN Photo
The vessel, which is the size of four soccer fields, is more often than not covered with multi-colored containers, leaving no extra space for staff members.
The COSCO Shipping Virgo ship can hold 20,119 containers by utilizing its grid system, which consists of 28 rows and 23 aisles. The grid stands 20 stories high, with 10 stories above deck and 10 below. The tallest point is about 26 meters above the deck and each box weighs 15 tons on average.
Containers can be piled up to 10 stories above the deck. /CGTN Photo
The boxes are placed on the deck strategically based on the loading and unloading order at each port, and with the balance of the ship in mind.
An engineer fixes a cooler container. /CGTN Photo
Yu Shengde, Virgo's chief officer, has been working with COSCO Shipping for more than 10 years. He said the sizes of the vessels have grown over the past few years.
"Now the ship is much larger," said Yu, "It can load more containers and it can increase loading efficiency."
Virgo's Chief Officer Yu Shengde uses software to arrange the location of each container./ CGTN Photo
The vessel will load and unload boxes at each port. Most goods exported from China are clothes, fruits and firecrackers. And it will also carry some wine, meat and perfume from Europe back to China.
CGTN reporters are now traveling with Virgo along the Belt and Road route, departing from the Ningbo-Zhoushan port along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe.