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Mapping the Globe: The Patterns of Mega-Ships

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Author(s): Dr César Ducruet and Justin Berli, The National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)

This paper seeks to address the distribution of the largest containerships across the globe and thereby build a picture of the global network. Many issues have been raised since the advent of so called ‘mega-ships’, ranging from port capacity issues, competitiveness, shipping alliances, and technological change, but the precise geography of their circulation had remained somewhat overlooked to date. #

Herein we aim to provide a concrete description and explanation of the observed pattern in the recent period, notwithstanding a brief explanation of the data and methodology used for such a purpose.

The most efficient way to map and analyse the global container shipping network is to extract information from the Lloyd’s List Intelligence database , which we have done to create a unique database. Covering the complete months of June to December 2016, our database comprises 121 mega-ships, which are defined by a capacity over 14,000 TEU (meaning megaships…

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