Mega-Ships

Seeking efficiency and economies of scale, the world’s container carriers are increasingly ordering mega-ships capable of handling more than 8,000-TEU ships, with even larger vessels appearing particularly on the Asia-Europe trade lane. Shippers and carriers looking to reach the North American east coast with these post-Panamax ships must transit the Suez Canal because, as their name implies, they are too big to sail through the Panama Canal.

Expanded Panana Canal broadens mega-ship market

But with Panama’s decade-long canal expansion project completed in 2016, many larger vessels are now able to add the Panama Canal to their route options. Ports around the world are preparing for the onslaught of these mega-ships, dredging harbors and investing in super-post-Panamax cranes that can reach across 22 or more rows of containers to expedite loading and unloading operations.

News & Analysis

21 Jan 2019
Asia-Europe carriers are expected to deploy a host of strategies to absorb the mega-ship capacity coming online this year.
Rotterdam port.
18 Jan 2019
Given current factors in the two trade lanes, there was little chance rates would strengthen.
Port of Los Angeles.
09 Jan 2019
Competitors demonstrate that West Coast ports need to efficiently transfer containers to trucks and trains, as well ship-to-port, to retain shipper business.
Port of Vancouver.
07 Jan 2019
Excessive rail dwell times continue to be a problem.
The Port of New York and New Jersey.
11 Dec 2018
At the JOC Port Performance North America Conference in Newark, New Jersey, on Tuesday, a key technical director offered insights regarding how to increase port productivity as ships get bigger, including what stakeholders should expect from automation.
Maersk Magleby container ship.
07 Dec 2018
A $6.9 million federal grant will enable the Port of Baltimore to dredge to 50 feet a berth at its only container terminal, enabling the terminal to better handle growing cargo volumes by hosting two mega-ships at once.

Commentary

The Port of New York and New Jersey will face multiple-port competition for discretionary cargo in the decade ahead and with the head of the seaport departing, that intensifying competition calls out for a leader with operating experience.