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 20-foot-equivalent container units, 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. But with Panama’s decade-long canal expansion project set for completion in 2015, many larger vessels will be 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

16 Aug 2017
After chasing market share during the rate wars of 2016, Maersk Line is now concentrating on maintaining profitability in the recovering market.
01 Jul 2016
Trains are a critical tool that can be used to relieve port congestion, but in Europe they face a number of challenges.
22 Jun 2016
Mega-ships are finding their way into the Asia-Africa and Asia-South America trades.
16 Jun 2016
JOC Senior Content Editor Alessandra Barrett and Port of Virginia Chief Sales Officer Tom Capozzi got together at the 16th TPM Conference discuss the Port of Virginia’s ability to handle mega-ships efficiently, capacity expansion efforts, and future prospects of trade with Cuba.
15 Jun 2016
The surging number of mega-ships, increasingly powerful carrier alliances and sluggish global trade growth are making financially pressured container terminals think twice about automation.
13 Jun 2016
The Port of New York and New Jersey will be able to accommodate ships with capacities of 14,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units at its Newark Bay terminals.

Commentary

Recent industry comments suggest carriers are being cautious in ordering new capacity — new ship orders are down substantially versus 2015 — and also will be cautious on capacity as alliances roll out their service networks. This is leading a number of observers to suggest that the container market gradually may be returning to equilibrium.

Video



Sponsor: Making BCO partnerships centric with the terminal strategy is vital, says Jeremy Ford, APM Terminals' head of commercial.