In container shipping, the idea that “big is beautiful” seems to be in vogue. Ever since the invention of the humble container in the 1950s revolutionised the face of global manufacturing, international trade flows have only grown bigger. More than 60% of seaborne trade now is containerised, with Drewry estimating that over 600 million TEU was moved worldwide in 2014.
Propelled by the strong growth in trade flows and the rise of China as the ‘mega’ factory of the world, containerships and terminals have also grown in size. In the last decade, the largest containerships have grown exponentially from 8,000 TEU to almost 20,000 TEU today. Shipping liners have undergone waves of consolidation, and joined forces in strong alliances to fully utilise their biggest ships. These developments have changed the landscape of the container handling industry dramatically, and influenced the shape and development of mega-terminals today.
PSA’s flagship terminals
At PSA’s flagship terminal in Singapore, having to think big…