You may not have noticed, because they don’t necessarily come to the US, but merchant ships are getting BIG. At the end of WWII a typical dry cargo ship (Victory ship) was about 442′ long and 57′ of beam. A typical tanker (T-2) was 502′ x 68′.
Maersk has contracted with S. Korean ship builder Daewoo to build 20 ships that will be the largest in the world. These ships are 400 meters by 59 meters or approximately 1312′ long and 194′ of beam. The hull is larger than that of the newest super carrier now building, SS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) 1092’x134′. (Ford’s overall width will be greater because of the width of the flight deck.)
If you need a demonstration of the fact that size alone is not a major determinate of the cost of a ship–that “steel is cheap and air is free,” these ships will cost about $190M each compared with $13.5B for the Gerald R. Ford and about $700M for the National Security Cutters. (I can’t help but think these would make some bodacious escort carriers.)
More BIG ships here.