Freight News, Sea

Mega ship concept questioned

[ May 12, 2016   //   ]

Mega vessels might help shipping lines but they are not necessarily good for shippers, FTA director of global and European Policy, Chris Welsh (FTA) told a session at the Multimodal conference on 11 May. “The mega vessels reduce unit costs for shipping lines but overall supply chain costs are increasing,” he declared.

Welsh said the introduction of the mega ships was a “from the hip” reaction to the world financial crisis without the shipping lines thinking through all the implications for the other stakeholders, including shippers, forwarders, hauliers and ports.

Surprisingly, his view drew some support from the shipping industry itself. Maersk Line head of north European liner operations, Amdi Krogh, said that the mega ships had helped increase efficiency and drive down costs for shippers but agreed that “we need to have dialogue with the entire supply chain”.

Chief executive of DP World London Gateway, Cameron Thorpe, added that the benefit of mega ships is not realised unless the loading and unloading of containers is also more efficient, while Peel Ports group commercial director, Patrick Walters, said it was valid to ask “if carriers have lost sight of the end user”.

He explained that most shippers are part of a very fragmented cargo base so have to rely on forwarders and that “this morass of forwarding companies means visibility is totally obscured”.


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