Mega-ships are not new to the container shipping industry however this year saw records broken with the largest vessels ever to take to the seas entering the global fleet.
The events of 2020 have not discouraged carriers from investing in mega-ships and many have been inaugurated throughout the year. South Korean container shipping line HMM completed its fleet of mega-ships with the unveiling of the 24,000 TEU HMM St Petersburg in September, with the HMM Algeciras first of the new Algeciras-class taking to the ocean in April. Meanwhile, CMA CGM launched the first of 26 new generation Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)-powered conatinerships, the CMA CGM Jacques Saade. The first nine of the fleet will have a capacity of 23,000 TEU, the rest of the LNG-powered vessels will be of various
sizes and join the fleet by 2022.
It was feared that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could quash carrier’s appetite for these larger vessels and while it may be the case that large orders are being put on hold temporarily, these 20,000+ TEU vessels will continue to be brought into the fleet well into the future.
In this edition of the Journal we explore why these mega-ships are so appealing to the container trade and the economic viability of vessels larger than those we see today.
With these vessels visiting ports the Journal also looks at the impact that such large volumes of containers arriving at once has on port operations and the infrastructural considerations ports must take to accept the biggest vessels.
In addition, Navis provides experienced insight into both berth planning and vessel planning and how predictive visibility can support expert users to make better decisions. Planning for the future with the use of data at container terminals is key to improving operations as well as managing costs.
Finally, Kuenz explores automated equipment and its use in the hinterland at intermodal terminals.