Is the 26,000 TEU container vessel coming now?

by Frank Diegel, CEO Marine-Pilots.com - published -
7566

Is the 26,000 TEU container vessel coming now?
Graphic by Jan Tiedemann, Alphaliner

Comment by Frank Diegel:
The last month Jan Tiedemann from Alphaliner (BRS) in Hamburg has reported, that DNV GL has awarded Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding (group) Co., Ltd. an approval in principle for the design of an LNG-powered 25,000 TEU container vessel. Based upon the reported vessel dimensions, he reckons that the ship could actually have a capacity closer to 26,000 TEU. Have a look at his rough calculation and his graphic.
Container ships grow with each new order and there seems to be no upper limit, although there are more and more critical voices concerning this development. Every quarter the shipping companies outbid each other with new records in the size of their ships, their cargo capacities and the volume of containers transported. It is easy to lose track of who is the current leader in a particular discipline.

The pressure on shipping companies to cut costs pushes this development
The main reason for the growth of ships is economic pressure: fuel costs and fierce competition between shipping companies give an advantage to those who are able to transport containers at the lowest cost with the largest ship.
The world's largest container ships are currently over 400 metres long and can carry well over 20,000 TEU. And more and more giants are being added. Especially on the intercontinental trade routes between Europe and East Asia, the use of ever larger ships is profitable due to the large cargo volumes.

But where will this lead us in shipping? Where will this development end?
Fact is, that there will be a shift in transport costs from sea to land. The shipping companies are saving costs by operating ever larger ships, while on land more and more investment must be made to server infrastructure. These are among others:
- Lower access routes and berths for ships
- Larger cranes
- Larger intermediate storage areas
- Larger transport capacities to the hinterland by truck, train or inland waterway vessel

Some ports have already introduced a size limit for ships because they are no longer wanting to take part in this rat race. In addition to exploding investment in land-based infrastructure to cope with the ever-growing number of containers per ship during a port call, environmental and port safety aspects are also playing an increasingly important role.

Impact on Maritime Pilots
The handling of the ship giants is becoming more and more difficult with masses over 200,000 tons. The area exposed to the wind and the ever-increasing draught of the ships with ever-increasing dimensions make safe manoeuvring in existing harbours and their access routes riskier.

Effects on port operators
The port operators have the investments described above because the existing - often still very modern - infrastructure can no longer cope with the size of the new ships. The punctual strain on ports is increasing, as a single ship moves an ever-larger volume of containers per port call, which must also be managed in the short time span in the port.

Effects on vessel insurers
The cost risk of a single ship accident rises. The complete loss of ship and cargo alone, without taking into account consequential damage to the environment, an infrastructure, an accident partner or liability for consequential damage in the logistics chain, can cause losses in the high 3-digit million-dollar range. Under certain circumstances, the limit of 1 billion dollars in damage can be exceeded. This does not make insurers feel comfortable.

Conclusion and discussion
Personally, I am taking a critical view of future ship sizes, especially regarding the rising costs at land and the growing safety risk. But this might be only a conservative view of a European with the existing infrastructure here and the growing environmental awareness of the European population.

Many thanks to Jan Tiedemann for the impulse and the great graphics to this article. I did not illuminate all the stakeholders: How do shipbuilders or tug captains see it, for example?

I like to receive numerous comments and opinions from various stakeholders on the increasing ship sizes and the associated changes for shipping.

Frank Diegel, CEO Marine-Pilots.com
Frank Diegel on LinkedIn
New Ships Orderbook c/o TRENZ GmbH
What's your opinion on this?
Be the first to comment...
Login or register to view comments and join the discussion!
Read more...

Article "The 20,000 TEU Club" - The fleet of the largest container vessels.

by Frank Diegel, CEO Marine-Pilots.com - published

The fleets of container vessels storing more than 20,000 TEU is growing. Today the 20,000 TEU Club includes 69 vessels with a total capacity of 1,495,798 TEU.

0

Article HMM Algeciras - The world's largest Containervessel (24,000 TEU) today

by Marine-Pilots.com - published

A Korean shipbuilder built the world's largest container ship. The shipowner is HMM, Korea's only ocean shipping company. This giant vessel is expected to provide a much needed momentum for the Korean shipbuilding and shipping industries struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

0

Video HMM Algeciras - The world largest Containervessel (24,000 TEU) today

Found on YouTube. Created by KBS News


A Korean shipbuilder built the world's largest container ship. The shipowner is HMM, Korea's only ocean shipping company. This giant vessel is expected to provide a much needed momentum for the Korean shipbuilding and shipping industries struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

0

Article Request from the American Pilots’ Association to State Pilotage Authorities Regarding Pilot Safety

by Marine-Pilots.com - published

The American Pilots’ Association has sent a letter to state pilotage authorities across the United States on behalf of approximately 1,200 American ship pilots to improve safety pilot safety following the death of a New York pilot in December.

0

Article Demands made by the Pacific Pilotage Authority on the shipping industry following the death of US Pilot Dennis Sherwood

by Marine-Pilots.com - published

The Pacific Pilotage Authority says: "There is a common misunderstanding amongst vessel operators that vessels built prior to 2012 are exempt from some of the requirements for pilot transfer arrangements. This is incorrect...".

0

Video ship handling - tanker maneuvering/unmooring

Found on YouTube. Created by "SMR Pilot".

The "MTM Potomac" is a 180 meter tanker, without a thruster and a fixed pitch, right handed propeller (like most).
This particular maneuver consisted of backing her about a ship´s length, then swinging to port with the help of 2 ASD tugs.

0

Video “Harbor Pilot” 1960s Los Angeles Harbor Freighters & Ships Education Film

Harbor Pilot is a short film from 1967 that gives viewers a brief look at what a harbor pilot is and does. The film opens with footage of a sailboat sailing at sea, followed by a shot of a rocky coastline (01:10) and then an aerial view of a modern harbor — the Port of Los Angeles. A large freight ship, SS Gemstone, is out at sea. A harbor pilot stands on land at the Port of Los Angeles, looking out over the harbor. He walks into the pilot station at the entrance to the harbor to check the schedule. He looks through a telescope for an incoming ship (02:35). The pilot walks out onto the dock and climbs into the pilot boat, which he then steers to the incoming ship (03:49). The harbor pilot climbs out of the boat and up the side of the ship. On the bridge, he meets with the ship’s captain and tells the man at the wheel where to go to stay in deep water. The ship moves in toward the docks with the assistance of tugboats (05:10). The film shows several different kinds of buoys out in the harbor. A big dredging machine dredges the harbor (06:25); sand and rocks are pumped through a pipe and onto land. Viewers see ships as they pass each other in the harbor (07:00). A tugboat pushes the ship sideways to get it next to the dock. A heavy rope is lowered from the ship and is tied to the dock. The harbor pilot stands on another large ship as it leaves port and moves through harbor out to sea. A pilot boat comes out to the ship to get the harbor pilot and take him back to shore (08:59). The harbor pilot stands at the bow of the pilot boat as it moves back to port.A maritime pilot, marine pilot, harbor pilot, bar pilot, or simply pilot, is a sailor who maneuvers ships through dangerous or congested waters, such as harbors or river mouths. They are navigational experts possessing knowledge of the particular waterway such as its depth, currents, and hazards.Normally, the pilot joins an incoming ship prior to the ship's entry into the shallow water at the designated "pilot boarding area" via helicopter or pilot boat and climbs a pilot ladder sometimes up to 40 feet (~12 metres) to the deck of the largest container and tanker ships. Climbing the pilot ladder can be dangerous, even more so in rough seas considering that both the ship to be piloted and the pilot's own vessel are usually both moving. With outgoing vessels, a pilot boat returns the pilot to land after the ship has successfully negotiated coastal waters. The film was made by Arthur Evans, John and Barbara Upton, and Walter Soul, and released by Bailey Films.

0

Video TV Short Documentary on San Diego Harbor Pilots and Old Pilot Boat

Found on YouTube. Created by "George Gillow".

This is a short documentary done in the 1980s of San Diego Harbor Pilots. It shows the old pilot boat built in 1914. The boat was donated to the Maritime Museum and provides daily bay rides for the public. The film shows arrival of the cruise ship SS Azure Seas.

0

Article Sandy Hook Pilot Timothy M. Murray lost his life while boarding a ship (08/05/2020)

by Marine-Pilots.com - published

On August 5, 2020 at approximately 10:30 pm, Sandy Hook Pilot Captain Timothy M. Murray was involved in an incident while boarding a tanker vessel inbound to the Port of New York & New Jersey. He sustained injuries after falling from a pilot ladder and was evacuated to a local hospital where his injuries proved to be fatal.

0

Video Tugboat Captain Works To Expose Baltimore City Youth To The Maritime Industry

Found on YouTube. Created by "WJZ".

In the Inner Harbor, a tugboat captain is teaching Baltimore's inner-city youth about the maritime industry.

0