The world waits upon day they go down to the sea in ships.
Well, it's like this: so many of the things we use every day, from phones to shoes to cars, they've traveled the major shipping lanes of the world to get wherever you are.
Think giant cruise ships, but instead of pools and restaurants,
they are stock with thousands of multicolored boxes of cargo that float on ships across the sea, and then head to your area on the cars of trains and wheels of trucker trailers.
That could be a new boat docked at some of Asia's busiest ports in the day ahead, and it has one major feature that separates it from every other boat in the sea: it's bigger.
Like 1.5 times longer than the Titanic bigger.
From the world's biggest shipping container company comes the world's biggest ship.
This is the maiden voyage of the Maersk McKinney Moeller.
It's a monster.
From where I'm standing here, next to the bout to the propellers of the far end, is 400 meters,
and when this ship is fully laden, it's 20 stories high, and Maersk is taking a big bet that big is indeed beautiful.
She's so big she can't get through the Panama Canal, and so deep that she can't get into most ports in the Americas.
But that's not her job.
This vessel was built to carry 18,000 containers exclusively on the Europe-Asia route, and to do it much more cheaply than its rivals.
Apart from the overall size of this vessel, Maersk says this is the real game changer.
This is one of two 43,000 horsepower engines, which drive twin propellers,
but they drive those propellers at a much slower rate,
which means it cuts the fuel bill by about a third,
and it's also that these engines pump out about half the level of emissions that normal engines do.
It means that she's slightly slower than her smaller rivals, but the payoff is worth it, says Maersk.
Cheaper fuel costs, of course, means cheaper freight,
and Maersk says to actually ship one of these containers from Asia to Europe or Europe to Asia is about half as much as.
Maersk has 20 on order, and near $2 billion on its future.
Right now, though, it is struggling to feel these mammoths as the sluggish global economy slows world trade.
Without a pickup in trade big profits may be elusive.
Not everything on this ship is big, though.
If I want to steer the world's biggest vessel, I've got a joystick to do that.
And here it is.
Andrew Sevens, CNN for the Maersk McKinney Moeller, Hong Kong.
CNN heroes: ordinary people who make a difference in their communities.
A top ten were just announced. And the winner will be named in an all-star tribute in December.
If you're 13 or older, you can go to cnn/heroes link of the resources box of our home page to find out how to vote for the CNN hero of the year.
Meantime, here's a look at the top ten.