Michael White, President of Maersk Line North America has defended the size of big ships, saying that the new generation of megaships are a permanent aspect of the port and shipping industry and that ocean carriers really must cooperate more to ensure that ports can handle the increase in volumes, according to the Journal of Commerce.
PTI previously reported that the increase in ship sizes could be dealt with via the formation of terminal alliances in a bid to reduce the effects of larger alliances, larger ships and the cascading of mega-ships.
Michael White said: “Sometimes we’re quick to point fingers or assess blame in certain areas about difficult challenges we face, rather than collectively coming together to find solutions. The big ships are coming. They’re no surprise. They didn’t sneak up on us. We’ve been talking about them for years.”
The Maersk Line executive believes that larger ships are an appropriate response to ‘deflationary rates’, adding: “I think that’s something that is just a reality. All carriers have to find a way to reduce costs and reducing your average slot cots is a big element of that.
“I think big ships are an opportunity, and like it or not there are going to be more of them.”
The growth in ship sizes has accelerated massively in the last few decades, with the growth rate reaching as much as 1200% since 1968.
Now that big ships are becoming more of a reality at ports and terminals, other methods of adapting to them must be considered, such as carrier-terminal collaboration, more streamlined vessel-stowage activities and greater communication between cargo owners across the supply chain.