Despite overloading, more ultra-large containerships will be ordered in the next 2 years, SeaIntel Maritime analyst, Mr. Alan Murphy, told the container supply chain conference TOC at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre recently.
Consolidation would shrink the number of worldwide container shipping lines to 8 by 2025 because the industry can no longer support 20 global ocean carriers, he said.
“Competition has forced lines to order more, bigger ships for fear of losing market share and the status of global carrier,” said Mr. Murphy, who predicted up to 165 new orders for 13,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) to 14,000 TEU ships within 2 years.
However, many intra-Asia ports remain unable to handle any ship bigger than 6,000 TEU though trade has surged 20% in 2 years, it was said.
Cosco Pacific Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Ken Chan said, on one hand, terminal operators benefit from shorter port stays by larger containerships, but there are costs too.
He said, “Bigger ships are challenges. When they come, terminals worry that they cannot handle them.” “We see higher investment costs for equipment and dredging, and higher labour costs, which have risen quicker than likely in China. “