A Suezmax type vessel is a cargo container ship which is sized to the maximum capacity possible while still being able to transit the Suez canal. The Suez Canal contains no lift locks, unlike the Panama Canal, so the length of a Suezmax ship is not as sharply restricted as those of a Panamax vessel, which must fit into the lock chambers. The constraints on a Suezmax ship's length are imposed by its ability to navigate the canal's turns as well as maneuver into and out of the canal, and by its ability to potentially utilize the several turning bays that the canal incorporates along its length. These are required because the Suez is a single-lane canal, unlike the Panama; as a result, ships can only pass in opposite directions if one or the other can be diverted into a side bay for the event.

A Suezmax ship, as of the date of this writeup, is able to deadweight some 10,000-12,000 TEU (Twenty foot equivalent units).

The dimensions for a Suezmax ship are as follows:

  • Ship breadth (beam): max. 70 meters
  • Ship draught: Presently max. 16 meters, planned increase to max. 21.3 meters by the end of 2010
  • Ship length: max. 500 meters