Mega container ships
Date of Issue2017-05-12
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Initiated by Maersk Line with their Triple-E class series mega vessels order in 2011, container ships have grown much bigger in recent years, with capacities going above 20,000 TEU. The main driver of this trend is that companies want to achieve lower cost per unit transported and better economies of scale so that they will not fall behind their competitors. However, as the situation evolved and every company joined in and started to build bigger and bigger vessels, severe oversupply of capacity emerged, causing the freight rate to hit historical low and carriers struggle to survive and some even went bankrupt. Given the bad container shipping market now, we would like to examine to what extent is this original objective of better economies of scale being achieved, and what costs the entire transportation chain has paid. This project will look at these questions under current economic conditions. It will address these issues from both perspectives of oversupply of capacity and weak global demand. It will also go back to the history and evolution of containerisation and mega container ships to better understand what container shipping really means to our life. Classical case studies of industry companies that can help us better understand the issue of mega container ships will also be conducted. With all these we want to make this report as comprehensive and holistic as possible. Information and data is obtained from both primary sources like interviews with industrial professionals and secondary sources to better achieve this goal. Lastly, this report will also assess the possible future developments of mega container ships and whether this trend of even bigger container ships may continue at the end of this report.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University