Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Global Shipping Industry Just Keeps Getting Bigger

A.P. Moller-Maersk continues to make big waves around the world, particularly with the launch of their first Triple-E container ship, the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, now the biggest cargo vessel currently sailing the world’s oceans. It is making the headlines everywhere. These mega-ships are literally changing the direction of the shipping industry as it constantly evolves to stay one step ahead of the growing global economy. If it does not restructure itself in a more effective manner at this stage of it’s evolution, the global shipping industry runs the risk of not fully capitalising on the steady growth in the world’s new economy.

In fact, the shipping industry is so critical to the growth and health of the global economy that if they don’t have the proper ships and ports systems to keep up with consumer demand, then it have a seriously negative effect on the world’s future economic prospects. Currently around 90 per cent of the world’s consumer goods are shipped by sea and it is essential that all participating sectors in the industry are “up to speed” with the latest technologies and advancements that are designed to make the world’s shipping transport systems more efficient. Literally trillions of dollars are being invested worldwide to make the big ships and bigger ports run more effectively and in a more environmentally friendly manner.

Triple-E vessels, are named for Economy of scale, Energy efficient and Environmentally improved. These design principles could also be reflective on how the whole industry has approached building it’s foundation for it’s new direction for the 21st century. With the global economy growing at an unprecedented rate in the next 15 years (it is also expected to double again by 2030), the industry, in building these giant vessels should be able stay ahead of consumer demand. In shipping, any slowdown hurts local economies and is likely to cause financial losses. It just so happens that the massive ships will be traveling much slower speeds and therefore offer a savings on fuel costs. By utilizing the best technologies in their ship and port systems, the industry is also making great strides in reducing emissions into the atmosphere and helping the shipping industry meet its Green initiatives.

There are reports that in the next few years, at least half of all container ships will be carrying 13,500 TEUs containers, dramatically changing the ocean landscape from what we see today. Maersk has plans to build 19 more of it’s own Triple-E vessels and by the time they are all in service in the next two years, there will be a new "world’s biggest container ship" making the headlines everywhere it docks carrying even more containers than the Triple-E's. The shipping industry must be following a mantra of "bigger is better."  As the global economy continues to get bigger, the industry that is most essential to it’s facilitation also gets bigger. Bigger ships, bigger ports, bigger profits, bigger prospects.

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