The shipping companies that are introducing the new triple-E vessels are forcing ports to invest billions into their infrastructure. With more and more shipping companies introducing these larger vessels, ports cannot ignore the effect it has having on them. When ports were initially designed nobody could of imagined that vessels would of become so large, shifting the amount of volume they are currently moving on one vessel alone.
This is causing a major headache for port authorities as it is forcing them to invest in their facilities even though the economic crisis is causing low volumes at the port. To further add to the ports woes they cant pass any of the additional costs to the customer as prices are already at a record high, due to the fact they are trying to re-coup the initial loss of the lower volumes.
Shipping companies are beginning to see an up turn in volumes as it reached a record per TEU in the first quarter of 2013 in the Asia-Europe market. It proves the economy is moving forward. The introduction of the new vessels by the shipping companies is forcing the ports to improve, in the long term this will mean all the major ports have the correct infrastructure to handle the volumes but the initial outlay at this time is not welcomed by ports.
Shipping companies are constantly looking at ways of improving their fleets, as we reported last week with the new bow technology, which is making the vessels more fuel-efficient. If you look at the largest vessels shipping companies were running in 1992, they have now more the quadrupled in capacity from that, mainly down to the shipping companies introducing the new triple-e vessels. There is also some talk behind the scenes at shipping companies that vessels could get even bigger, and this is being made more viable by ports expanding and being able to service the larger vessels that are currently in circulation.