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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Next generation 22,000 TEU container ships under development

The relentless trend towards larger and larger container vessel capacity is set to continue unabated, delegates at TOC Europe heard today, as discussions are already taking place to develop the next generation of super-sized ships with capacities up to 22,000 TEU.

The event in Rotterdam, which brings together the largest shipping lines, has seen discussion around key trends shaping the sector such as the move towards ever larger ship sizes.

According to Andrew Penfold, project director at Ocean Shipping Consultants,  following the increase of maximum capacity to 19,000 TEU earlier  this year new ships are already under discussion

“We have been working closely with (ship classification society) Lloyd’s Register and can confirm that there is no technical reason why ships cannot go above 20,000 TEU – and we have had very serious discussions about vessels of 22,000 TEU.

Maersk Line, which recently ordered eleven 19,630 TEU vessels, is one of the major firms pushing the boundaries of what is possible,  but the market conditions still remain the primary driver, according to Hans Augusteijn, Maersk’s head of network and procurement in north Europe.

“The reason that Maersk Line has decided to order vessels of 19,630 TEU size is that it was appropriate to keep up with the market growth. But we didn’t want to go beyond that because we wanted to grow in line with how we expect the trade to grow.”

While the new ships may offer savings for shipping lines thanks to lower fuel costs and greater economies of scale the trend has raised some concerns for other actors in the sector due to issues around berth productivity at terminals, placing even further pressure on terminals.


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