right_division Green SCM Distribution
Bookmark us
SCDigest Logo

Focus: Global Supply Chain and Logistics

Our Weekly Feature Article on Topics Related to Global SupplyChain Logistics

From SCDigest's On-Target e-Magazine

August 17, 2011


Global Logistics News: Despite Low Growth Shipping Environment, Big Containerships Keep Coming

Maersk, with 18,000 TEU Mega-Mega Ships on Order, Upgrading Existing S-Class Ships to Hold Even More; Predicted Container Shortage for 2H 2011 not Occurring, Alphaliner Says


SCDigest Editorial Staff


Despite a relatively modest recovery in container volumes since 2010, major ocean carriers are taking delivery of many large ships ordered several years ago and even working to upgrade current ships to take on more TEU capacity.

So say the analysts at Alphaliner, which noted last week that Maersk continues to lead the field with a number of moves to increase its fleet and vessel capacity.

SCDigest Says:


Alphaliner says other ocean carriers are embarking on similar programs. As a result, the global capacity share of large container ships (vessels over 5,100 TEU) will increase from its current 40% to 50% by 2014.

What Do You Say?
Click Here to Send Us Your Comments
Click Here to See Reader Feedback

Separately, Alphaliner also said that a feared shortage of containers some had predicted for the second half of 2011 was not likely to materialize.

Many ships order as far back as 2008 will continue to be delivered over the next three years, in addition to many new megaships ordered even after the financial collapse and recession, including the amazing 18,000-TEU "triple E" class ships recently ordered by Maersk, the first of which will be delivered from South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. in 2013. (Interestingly, this also marked the first time Maersk ordered ships from an outside builder rather than its own captive ship building unit.) See Megaship Era Enters New Period as Maersk Places Order for 10 18,000-TEU Ships.

Despite the order for delivery of a number of these megaships over time, Maersk is simultaneously spending capital to upgrade the capacity of some of its existing ships, according to Alphaliner.

"Maersk has now embarked on a "Capacity Boost" program that will see a number of the line’s 8,200-8,600-TEU S-class ships up-sized to 9,600-TEU," Alphaliner says.

The program's goal is to increasing the capacity of the upgraded ships to handle lightly-loaded containers and to provide additional slots for the repositioning of empties containers. Ten existing ships are scheduled for the first phases of the program, which will add about 12,000 TEU to the current Maersk fleet. That capacity now stands at about 2.4 million TEU, according Alphaliner. More S-class ships may be upgraded later.

A key part of the upgrade is for a ship's wheelhouse to be raised so that two extra tiers of containers can be stowed forward of the accommodation block. While the change will increase the number of containers that can be loaded, a converted ship's weight capacity will actually decrease slightly from its current 14 tons due to the wheelhouse change.


Alphaliner says other ocean carriers are embarking on similar programs. As a result, the global capacity share of large container ships (vessels over 5,100 TEU) will increase from its current 40% to 50% by 2014.



Source: Alphaliner, Maersk

(Global Supply Chain Article Continued Below)




Separately, Alphaliner also notes that earlier this year, the World Shipping Council warned of a likely global shortage of containers in the second half of 2011.

However, that potential shortage is not materializing, Alphaliner says, reporting that there is about 800,000 TEU of newly built containers currently stored at container factories, and that with container production still on-going, demand for containers should be well met for at least the rest of the year and likely for the next two years.

What is your reaction to these mega-ship deliveries and upgrades? A good thing for shippers - or not? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below.

ur feedback

Recent Feedback


No Feedback on this article yet