Shipbuilding: About to Become the Biggest

Japan's new generation of tankers is getting too big for its berths. The world's latest heavyweight champion of the seas, a 276,000-ton ship built by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co. (IHI), last week had to be eased prematurely down the ways in Yokohama with upper portions of her towering hull unfinished. When completed, the new tanker, made in Japan for the U.S.'s National Bulk Carriers, Inc., will pack an incredible 2.2 million barrels of crude oil on her route from the Persian Gulf to Ireland, via the Cape of Good Hope. By building her, at a cost of $20 million,...