Container Stacking Approaches for Mega-Ship Era



Amir Gharehgozli, Department of Maritime Administration, Texas A&M University,


In the last two decades, multiple emerging trends have guided the shipping industry, but one of the most noticeable trends has been the increase in the size of containerships in response global trade growth and demand for massive capacity to transport containerized goods. Since 1968, the size of containerships has increased by 1,200%.

This growth was slow back in the '60s and it took almost 30 years for ship capacity to double. But from 2000 to 2017, the size of ships has almost tripled from 8,000 twenty foot equivalent units (TEU) to 21,000 TEU, creating what we now call mega-ships. Another emerging trend is digitalization. The whole oceanic transportation chain is moving towards connectedness and, as a result, it is collecting an enormous amount of data. Stakeholders need to take advantage of data to be more adaptable to disrupti ons, especially in the era of megaships.

It is essential to create proactive measures to react to sudden changes in container flow (e.g. weather, strikes…

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