Get ready for 24,000 teu, warns OECD

As the trend for ever-increasing container ship sizes continues, a new International Transport Forum (ITF)/ OECD report warns 24,000 teu vessels could be sailing the world’s oceans by 2020.

The new report, which is part of the ITF/OECD Mega-Ship project, looks at the benefits of the current mega container ships and whether they still outweigh their costs to the whole transport chain.

According to the report, 24,000 teu vessels could have major impacts on main trade lanes, would raise transport costs and could hinder the competitiveness of ports overall.

“It is likely that at some stage 24,000 teu ships will be sailing the world oceans; it is not unimaginable that this will already be the case in 2020,” says the report. “This is of course speculation; these are strategic orientations of carriers that they are not willing to share.”

The report says there are three possible scenarios: The capacity of the fully cellular fleet will grow in line with the market demand growth during the next five years, with the total fleet capacity expanding by roughly one third and containing no units of a new generation of mega carriers with capacities of up to 24,000 teu by the year 2020, or grow with 50 units of new generation carriers replacing demand for 19,000 teu vessels, or with 100 units of new generation carriers.

But, the report goes on to state that for ports in the different regions, the average ship size is only one component. “If they want to compete for the hub status, they need to be prepared to receive the largest vessels that may regularly call in the future,” it adds.

The report reveals that even if there would be no upsizing of container ships to 24,000 teu ships, the dimensions of the largest ships calling the ports in almost all regions will change, due to cascading effects. This will imply adaptations of port equipment and infrastructure in these ports to be able to handle these larger ships.

“This will be even more pressing if 24,000 teu container ships would be introduced in 2020, as this would further increase the dimensions of the ships, and thus the required infrastructure adaptations, although a more detailed study would be needed to gauge the exact extent of required changes,” the report concludes.  

The report also makes recommendations to ensure countries and ports’ decisions on accommodation larger vessels aren’t detrimental. These include aligning incentives and costs to public interests – design port dues in such a way that they do not provide incentives for the largest ships – and provide policy support to ports to enhance supply chain productivity and innovation.

The report also recommends collaboration at a regional and cross-port level to help strengthen the collective bargaining position of the landside supply chain.


AMRO Increases Scope To Cover The GCC Region

AMRO, a specialist marine equipment and services provider, is proud to announce that they will now c... Read more


Ninth Consecutive “Excellent” Coast Guard Security Assessment Awarded to Port of Baltimore Read more

Being part of the most important infrastructure project in Costa Rica

In 2017, the US office of ShibataFenderTeam delivered 55 nos. CSS 1450 Cell Fender Systems (G2.0), 8... Read more

G21 endorse GeelongPort as a Priority Project

The G21 Geelong Region Alliance is the formal alliance of government, business and community organis... Read more

Livorno increases draft limits Harbour Master and Port Authority to build the port of future

The port of Livorno is more and more big ship ready. The most important hub in Italy for Ro/Ro traff... Read more

Mercator Media upgrades magazines and conferences brands

February 2018 Fareham UK - Mercator Media Ltd, the international, market-leading B2B marine media bu... Read more

View all