What is the slowest shipping company

Other large shipping companies also rely on leisureliness, such as Hamburg Süd or Hapag Lloyd. Other engine manufacturers, such as MAN, also offer slow steaming conversion kits. Slow steaming was originally a reaction to the falling freight rates caused by the economic crisis. The shipowners struggled with lost revenue, ships were decommissioned.

Slow steaming is now almost standard. The shipowners know that more ships that travel more slowly can handle the same amount of freight - at lower costs. That is why ships that are built today are trimmed for slow travel right from the start.

"While large container ships with high speeds of 24 to 25 knots were ordered last year, that changed a lot in 2011. The design speeds are around 21 to 23 knots, the expected, mostly driven speeds around 17 to 19 knots. Flexibility is extremely important, "says Andreas Wiesmann.

Slowly moving ships look different: "The hull is shorter and wider. This means that less weight-compensating ballast water has to be carried and the loading capacity increases," says Fridtjof Rohde from the ship optimizer Future Ship. As the motors turn more slowly, the propeller diameter grows and the shape of the bulbous bow is also optimized.

In order to determine the correct dimensions for the hull, bulbous bow and propeller, the designers calculate up to 20,000 different designs. Of course, in such designs the main engines and the ancillary units, for example for cooling the engines, heating the fuel or generating the on-board electricity, are smaller. The effort is worth it: Compared to a freighter in service today, a modern ship uses up to 60 percent less fuel.