Bigger Ships and Bigger Consequences

ocean freightMost shippers are aware that the ocean vessels are getting bigger in size. Last year, Maersk introduced a ship that boasted a capacity of 18,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units). And now that the Panama Canal is expanding, the world is seeing more Post-Panamax ships of super sizes. The carriers and freight forwarders are in strong favor of these larger vessels to accommodate more cargo and improve capacity issues. These ships are bigger in length. And the carriers also support slow steaming of the vessels to lower more expenses.

There is one big problem with the larger ocean shipping vessels: the lack of berth space available for the ships at the terminals. A larger vessel in the terminal spots (which was built for smaller vessels) creates a bit of a headache. Having the larger vessel results in taking up more port time. This delays the entire shipping process and could cost more money. Shippers do not want to see increased ocean freight rates over this issue.

The Journal of Commerce reports on a paper from the Container Transport International Consultancy. This paper offers a solution: carriers and terminals should work together. Through improved communication and planning, carriers and terminals can cut down on the time issue. Solutions include more container cranes and improved stowage to help speed up the process.

Hopefully, the carriers and the terminals can work together to solve this dilemma and speed up the shipping process. That way, shippers can truly benefit from the features of having larger container ships.

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