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Vertical Container Warehouses: A Solution for Future Container Ports?

The size of container ships has risen significantly in recent years and it is projected that even larger ships will call at US ports in future. Although these huge containerships bring many benefits for shipping companies such as economies of scale, they present challenges for ports such as the requirement for deeper channels and larger cranes. Research into solutions for container storage is presented in this paper.

CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, the largest mega container ship ever to call at a North American port at the time, unloaded containers at the Port of Long Beach on February 18, 2016.

Three months later, COSCO Development, with a capacity of 13,000 containers, became the largest container ship ever to pass through the expanded Panama Canal and visit East Coast ports.

The size of container ships has risen significantly in recent years and it is projected that even larger ships will call at US ports in future. Although these huge containerships bring many benefits for shipping companies such as economies of scale, they present challenges for ports such as the requirement for deeper channels and larger cranes.

However, improvement projects to accommodate these needs, in particular, investment in infrastructure in the US has been slow, especially when compared to Asia and Europe. According to the American Association of Port Authorities, American container ports are expected to invest US$46 billion in improving their infrastructure to address the future challenges in container shipping by the end of 2017.

Nima Zaerpour, Assistant Professor, Operations and Supply Chain Management, College of Business Administration, California State University San Marcos; Amir Gharehgozli, Assistant Professor, Operations and Supply Chain Management, Maritime Administration,

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