How much fuel does a container ship burn?
This is usually measured in pounds of fuel per horsepower per hour. Roughly speaking, 0.25 lbs/hp/hr is considered to be pretty good, and 100,000 hp is a low-side estimate of an average container ship's horsepower. This then works out to 25,000 pounds of marine diesel fuel per hour. Marine diesel weighs about 7lbs/gallon, which gets us about 3600 gallons per burned per hour. A common cruise speed is 25 knots or 28.75mph. To make the math easier, let's call it 30mph. What this means is that for a container ship to travel 30 miles, it'll burn through 3600 gallons, which is the same as burning 120 gallons to go one mile . There are 5280 feet in a mile, so if 120 gallons is good for 5280 feet, then one gallon is burned every 44 feet!!
Current_price_for_heavy_fuel_oilIndicates that the October 2008 price was 140 euro/ton (US$188/ton) for heavy fuel oil.
Answer 2Container ships don't burn quality marine diesel, they burn bunker fuel which is just a step above asphalt. It is so thick, it must be heated to extreme temperatures just to get it to flow into the engines. It is very cheap, literally pennies per gallon but very dirty, usually vented or exhausted under the ship so we don't see the pollutants destroying our environment.
Bunker fuel no longer is pennies per gallon. As of this date, 10/23/09, bunker fuel (380 Centistoke) is about $1.66 per gallon in Los Angeles. A 7000 TEU(twenty foot equivalent units) container ship will burn about 217 tons/day. This is about $99,000 per day in fuel costs. If oil goes to $150/bbl again, You can do the math.
The Emma Maersk's 109,000 hp engine burns 1,660 gallons of HFO per hour.