Major shipping lines realise economies of scale by putting larger vessels in operation. Vessel sizes grow rapidly and container ships with capacities over 20,000 TEU are currently on order. As these giant vessels with lengths around 400 metres are crossing the oceans, smaller ships are substituted. In general, larger vessel capacity reduces freight rate and also emissions per container; increasing competitiveness. For that reason, shipping lines tend to go for bigger ships. Moreover, they are keen on cascading down the ships that were once used in the main routes, meaning small ships are replaced by larger ships in all trade routes.
As a result, many ports in the world have to amend their infrastructure and equipment to be capable of welcoming the new and mighty guests. This includes dredging, enlarging berth boxes and investing in new cargo handling solutions. While ports on the main routes prepare for new mega ships, other ports adapt their facilities for cascaded vessels.
The equipment manufacturer’s role
Manufacturers have to adapt their product ranges to meet the requirements of their customers. New product developments and innovative technologies take current trends in the maritime sector into account. Many ports which expect cascaded vessels are looking for versatile cargo handling solutions to maintain competitiveness, not only in container handling. Liebherr Maritime Cranes’ research and development department is closely monitoring trends and developments in the maritime industry. In close cooperation with the customer, new technologies and products are developed according to these trends.
In the first quarter of 2015…
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