“Mega Ship” is a terminology coined sometime around 2013 when Maersk line introduces the Triple E series of ships that can carry 18,340 TEUs. The term “Mega Ships” has since been used synonymously with the term “Ultra Large Container Vessel” (ULCVs).
Mega ships came about in the drive by the shipping lines to pursue economies of scale and cost savings to offset the decreasing rates in depressed freight markets.
When deciding upon the deployment of mega ships, considerations of route, nautical distance and volume are crucial. Based on these criteria, mega ships are mainly deployed on the Far East-North Europe trade lane where the route covers the longest nautical distance and presents adequate cargo imports and exports.
This ensures that the ship will be earning sufficiently from freight carried while saving on operational costs. Cost savings is required for a carrier to achieve an edge in the container shipping industry, where price competition is one of the main drivers.