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Malaccamax tankers can carry oil from the Persian Gulf to China.

Malaccamax is a naval architecture term for the largest size of ship capable of fitting through the 25 metres (82 ft)-deep Strait of Malacca. Because the Sunda Strait is even shallower at 20 metres (66 ft) minimum depth, a post-Malaccamax ship would need to use even longer alternate routes such as:[1]

or artificially excavated new routes such as:

  • deepening the Strait of Malacca, specifically at its minimum depth in the Singapore Strait
  • the proposed Kra Canal, which however would take much more excavation

Bulk carriers and supertankers have been built to this size, and the term is chosen for very large crude carriers (VLCC).[2] Not constructed yet but envisioned, a Malaccamax container ship would be 470 m long and 60 m wide, with 20 m of draft with a 300,000 metric tons deadweight (DWT) for a capacity of 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).[3] The ports growth requirements could be leading to the creation of new terminals dedicated to those ships.[4]

Similar terms of Panamax, Suezmax and Seawaymax are used for the largest ships capable of fitting through the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal and Saint Lawrence Seaway, respectively. Aframax tankers are those with a deadweight tonnage of 80,000 to 120,000.

References

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