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Mega-ship questions raised after ONE vessel crashes in Busan

Video footage has emerged of the Milano Bridge, an ultra large container vessel (ULCV), knocking over three ship-to-shore (STS) cranes at the Port of Busan, South Korea.

According to media reports, the 15,000 TEU Ocean Network Express (ONE) vessel crashed into one STS crane, which subsequently fell and brought down two others. The vessel also collided with the 10,000 Seaspan Ganges.

No injuries have yet been reported and there is no clear indication as to the cause of the crash.

However, it does raise health and safety questions around the use of mega-vessel. Container ships have become increasingly bigger as carriers look to carry more cargo, cut costs and meet customer demands.

The latest mega-ships can carry up to 23,000 TEU, with CMA CGM, MSC, COSCO and HMM planning to launch new fleets in the coming years.

This in itself has created new challenges for the maritime industry as port infrastructure has need to keep up with the rapidly increasing size of vessels.

Technical Paper: Mega Ships – The Challenges Presented to Terminals

Harbour length, maneuvering space, draft depth, tidal restrictions are areas where ports need to expand in order to handle the biggest fleets.

There is also the need for improved shore-side facilities such as gantry cranes with sufficient reach to load/un-load containers from a single side of the ship.

There are approximately only 20 or 25 ports in the world that are capable of handling these new vessels.



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