Eight standard (20 foot) shipping containers can be carried.
The small shipping containers are carried on deck (picture from Defense Industry Daily).
A replenishment ship carries just 8 containers and on deck forward (between the bow and the forward crane) rather than in a cargo hold out of the elements?
Is the deck positioning for short containers designed to allow room for adding defensive armament in shipping container modules as I explored in "The AFRICOM Queen?"
That might be a wise move in wartime when hitting the weakly defended replenishment ship puts the British carrier out of action from lack of supplies just as effectively as damaging or sinking the more heavily defended carrier.
Or maybe it just seems unusual to me.