Limitation of mega ships in the container shipping industry - An analysis on increasing size of mega ships and its effects on the shipping industry

Examensarbete på kandidatnivå
Nasir, Hamza
Saghatchian, Farbod
After World War II, a growing demand in the shipping industry pushed for larger vessels to be built in order to transport more cargo. In 2006, Maersk introduced the very first mega container ship. Since then shipping companies have been pushing for new size standards to further increase their revenue. The study wants to find out what the future limitations of mega container ships are and how the increasing size of these vessels affect the different actors in the shipping industry. The study is based on shipping companies and port authorities in Scandinavia where interviews have been conducted. Interview questions were structured to answer the research questions with additional help of literature studies. The result that was generated was that the trend will be to continue to invest into larger vessels but the limitation will be draft restrictions, port size and shipping routes since the large vessel can only be utilized in routes between Europe and Asia. The increasing size of mega container ships puts pressure on the port workers since a normal working schedule cannot be integrated due to the peaks which the mega container ships create when calling a port. The increase in size also creates limits on the trading routes since other continents except for Asia and Europe cannot handle these large vessels. When shipping companies push for larger size standards and then put them into operation, the previous vessels that were on the popular trading routes will be moved around to other routes. This means that all the ports in the industry are affected by the size since they must invest into port infrastructure as well as superstructure to be able to handle larger port calls. Even smaller ports get to take calls from larger ships depending on how the shipping companies operate and move around their fleet. This is called the cascading effect. It was discussed that the current trend for mega container ships might not be sustainable. Mega container ships on ports will have high emissions due to long cargo handling operations and waiting times. Ports can also start charging vessels for high emissions. A certain company from the interviews have made investments into LNG fueled mega ships which could be one of the solutions towards a more sustainable trend.
Container, Mega, Ship, Limits, Ports, Routes, Vessels, Shipping, Continents, Industry
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