The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has made the carriage of ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) mandatory under SOLAS V (Safety of Navigation) for most large vessels, with the deadline for entry into force, fast approaching on July 1, 2018.
DaChan Bay Terminals (DCB) is part of the Port of Shenzhen, the third-busiest container port in the world. To handle ship traffic DCB deploys a full fleet of electricity-powered rubber tyred gantry cranes (e-RTGs) and dual hoist tandem-lift QCs, which are able to simultaneously handle two 40-foot containers. DCB is the world's first container terminal to deploy a full fleet of e-RTGs, using electricity instead of diesel. E-RTGs emit no CO2 emissions during their operations in terminals and their indirect CO2 emissions are 60% lower than those of diesel-powered RTGs. All quay cranes are also electricity-powered. These cranes are able to simultaneously handle two 40-foot containers or four 20-foot containers with lower energy consumption and higher productivity.
Ports must continually invest in infrastructure and efficient equipment to remain competitive. The largest ports in particular have made substantial upgrades to serve mega-vessels, for example triple-e vessels carrying more than 18,000 TEUs. Port container terminals have been transformed into mega-terminals capable of handling more than 3.5 million TEUs per year.
This is the age of mega ships. These massive ships are carrying more cargo than ever before, and play a vital role in maritime transportation, dictating the future of the shipping industry. Just two years ago, the largest ship had a capacity of 19,200 TEUs.
On June 26, 2016, the Panama Canal opened its new set of locks, thus guaranteeing the transits of Neopanamaxsize vessels. After more than one year of operations, we have witnessed more than 1,700 transits of these larger ships, which are distributed among several market segments.
Shipping lines’ recent strategy shifts have strained market conditions, highlighted by the ultimate collapse of Hanjin Shipping in February 2017. Hanjin Shipping accounted for approximately 10% of all container handling at Busan ports, so its demise pushed Busan Port Authority (BPA) into the red, with total container handling plunging 0.1% in 2016 from 2015.
Two trends have defined container shipping in the past decade. To start with, bigger and bigger ships were built at an unprecedented pace. The result was systemic overcapacity, which triggered various consolidations among shipping companies. The second is that port authorities and terminal operators were faced with major challenges owing to this development.