Is the 26,000 TEU container vessel coming now?

by Frank Diegel, CEO & Founder Marine-Pilots.com - published -
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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
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Article "The 20,000 TEU Club" - The fleet of the largest container vessels.

by Frank Diegel, CEO & Founder 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.

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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.

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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.

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Video Perjalanan Penuh Tantangan Maritime Pilot - Ep 23

Found on YouTube. Created by "NNtalk".

Mungkin banyak sebagian dari kita masih asing dengan istilah Maritime Pilot . Padahal masa depan profesi ini sangat cerah. Kedepannya profesi ini sangat dibutuhkan baik di dunia pelayaran domestik dan internasional.

Untuk mendapatkan keahlian memandu kapal ternyata harus melalui beberapa tahap yang cukup panjang dan penuh tantangan.Simak pula perjalanan karir Capt. Akhmad Syaiful Salim sampai menjadi seorang Mariime pilot yang berhasil.

Semoga menjadi insiprasi generasi muda Indonesia....

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Video AIMPA’s Webinar on “Reconceptualising Indian Maritime Pilotage" on 24th Oct 2020.

Found on YouTube. Created by "Marine-Pilots". Recorded on 2020-10-24.

The need to hold such a webinar was felt from the interaction over several months of AIMPA members through its President, Capt. Gajanan Karanjikar, with Capt Simon Meyjes and Capt.Ravi Nijjer - both instrumental in the thorough upgrade of pilotage operations Safety management systems in parts of Australia. From these interactions, AIMPA has come to the firm conclusion that a thorough upgrade of maritime pilotage management systems in India is necessary. Holding a webinar would be a good start to help bring about such change.

The webinar was held on 24th Oct 2020 on a platform graciously provided by the Institute of Marine Engineers of India (IMEI). Maritime Fraternity supported the event as ‘must have’ and professional bodies like Nautical Institute and company of Master mariners supported the event full-fledged. As contacted with Chirp Maritime UK, their Marine Operations director Mr Jeff Parfitt not only supported the event but also agreed to be one of the speakers.

As many as seven accomplished experts in the field of maritime pilotage management were requested to share their views using short presentations of about 10 minutes each. Two moderators, each a very accomplished maritime professional, were also impanelled.
The intent of the webinar was to spark ideas and opinions which, after some analysis and moderation, could be put up by AIMPA as a set of recommendations for both policies as well as decision makers in India to consider.

The response to the webinar was very encouraging. As many as 500+ persons registered. For students in various maritime training institutes in India as well the wider public too, the webinar proceedings were streamed live via Facebook and Youtube.

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Video Cosco Shipping Galaxy breaks away from Felixstowe as showers passes through. 11th October 2020

Found on YouTube. Created by "Deano C".
The Cosco Shipping Galaxy alongside Felixstowe Berth 9 cargo operations come to an end with the cranes beginning to boom up. Mooring gang in attendance and the tugs begin to go to station. The pilot requests for both to make fast on the centre lead fore and aft. Svitzer Kent makes fast centre lead aft while the Svitzer Sky makes fast centre lead forward. The Sky comes under the bow to pick up the heaving line but the crew slackens the head lines before the last crane had boomed up. Sky manages to get the heaving line so they tie their gear onto the line to be winched onboard onto the bollard. One of the crew members signals to the Sky to say they were fast forward. Kent makes fast aft once a couple of lines were let go.

The pilot gives the order to single up to springs. Once VTS had given clearance to depart, the springs were released and Kent builds to a 50% pull away from the quay, Sky forward builds to 50% aswell before the Kent increases to full power. After a while, the pilot gets the Sky to go all easy.

As the Galaxy moves away from the berth box, the pilot runs the engine astern to back her further into the channel. The pilot begins to use the bow thrusters and then gets the Sky to build to a full pull to get the bow onto a southerly heading. Kent drops in astern as the pilot runs the engine ahead, Sky eases and comes in to let go from forward.

Once the Sky had been released they move around to the port quarter to escort around them around the corner if the Galaxy got into difficulty. Safely around the Corner both tugs were released.

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Article Pilot transfer arrangements by AMSA

by Marine-Pilots.com - published

This notice reminds shipowners, operators, masters, crews, recognised organisations, marine pilots and pilotage providers of the obligation to provide safe pilot transfer arrangements.

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Article US Coast Guard recalls compliance with pilot transfer agreements

by Marine-Pilots.com - published

The US Coast Guard has now issued "Marine Safety Information Bulletin 21-20" which repeats the recommendation for pilot transfer agreements.

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Video New Pilot Vessel "SEA MASTER" / Bulk Carrier Ship "TAI HAWK"

Found on YouTube. Created by @ultrabarqueros / Barqueros de Ultramar.

New Pilot Vessel "SEA MASTER" / On board Bulk Carrier Ship "TAI HAWK" - Arriving at #Recalada #BoardingStation #KM239_1 #PuntaIndioChannel #RioDeLaPlata #Argentine

Nueva Lancha de Prácticos "SEA MASTER" / A bordo del Buque de Transporte a Granel "TAI HAWK" - Llegando a Recalada #EstaciónDeEmbarque KM 239,1 del Canal Punta Indio, del Río de La Plata #Argentina


This video (original sound) was filmed on board Bulk Carrier Ship "TAI HAWK" (IMO Number: 9284556) and shows the moment when the Pilot Vessel "SEA MASTER" was arriving at #BoardingPoint #Recalada to disembark the Rio de la Plata #Pilots.

Este video (sonido original) fue filmado a bordo del Buque de Transporte a Granel "TAI HAWK" (Número IMO: 9284556) y muestra el momento en que el Buque de Prácticos "SEA MASTER" estaba llegando al Punto de Embarque en #Recalada para desembarcar los Prácticos del Río de la Plata.


You can watch the full video by clicking on the following Link: / Puedes ver el video apretando en el siguiente Enlace: https://youtu.be/CUgm8KcMxr0



Special appreciation to the Master of the Vessel "TAI HAWK", his Officers and the rest of his Crew.

Agradecimiento especial al Capitán del Buque "TAI HAWK", sus Oficiales y el resto de su Tripulación.


Special thanks to the Skipper of the Pilot Vessel "SEA MASTER", Mr. Walter ZOFF and his Bosun Mr. Gabriel BETTI.

Agradecimiento especial al Patrón de la Lancha de Prácticos "SEA MASTER", el Sr. Walter ZOFF y su Contramaestre Sr. Gabriel BETTI.


Special thanks to the Rio de la Plata #Pilot, Mr. Daniel DIAZ ( @capitandanieldiaz ).

Agradecimiento especial al #Práctico del Río de la Plata, Sr. Daniel DIAZ.


Date /Fecha: 23rd. April 2020/ 23 Abril 2020.

Time /Hora: Since: 16:50 Till: 16:55 hours (Local Time) / Desde: 16:50 Hasta: 16:55 horas (Hora Local).

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