July 11 - 22,000 teu containerships will start being built in a few years and 24,000 teu vessels won't be far behind, says Ocean Shipping Consultants managing director Andrew Penfold, speaking at the recent TOC Container Supply Chain Conference.
Ocean Shipping Consultants drew the conclusion in line with economies of scale research conducted with Lloyd's Register and two anonymous shipping lines.
Penfold states: "If you take the analysis up to 24,000 teu vessels, you will see there are further cost savings to be made. If we go to 18,500 teu size and then put another couple of bays in the ship you are pretty soon getting to 22,000 to 24,000 teu size."
The research indicates that an 18,000 teu vessel is expected to incur daily costs at sea of USD197,198; a 22,000 teu vessel would cost USD220,892 per-day; a 24,000 teu ship would costs USD229,693 per-day to run.
As the size of vessels rise, the economies of scale become more apparent - an 18,000 teu ship incurs a cost of USD10.96 per teu per-day at sea; a 22,000 teu vessel would cost USD10.04 per-teu per-day at sea, and a 24,000 teu ship comes in at USD9.57 per-teu per-day at sea.
The research indicates that there is no technical limit for the construction of larger ships and therefore terminals, in the future, must anticipate such vessels.
In his presentation, Penfold states that the oversupply of ultra-large container ships will depress freight rates and force the redeployment of vessels. The Transpacific and Asia-Europe trade lanes will be unable to absorb all of the additional tonnage, and he described a 'cascade effect' that will be felt on other routes.
Larger vessels will be deployed ahead of demand on smaller trade routes and the biggest difficulty for terminals away from the East-West trade lanes will be an accelerated need for deeper berths to accommodate the larger ships, says Penfold.