No Sign of Ultra-Large Containership Mega Hubs: Analysis

By George Backwell
Monday, September 01, 2014
Container terminal: Photo Maersk

Contrary to the views of some in the industry, Ultra Large Container Vessels are continuing to call at multiple North European ports per loop and are not concentrating on a mega-hub, according to Drewry’s latest Container Insight Weekly, excerpted here.

Despite containerships doubling in size in the past 10 years on the Far East-North Europe route, there has not been a reduction in the number of North European ports called by each service.

The average number of North European port calls per loop has remained broadly unchanged, at four per service string. As in the past, container services follow a traditional multi-port itinerary and call at about four separate North European ports. These are typically a Benelux port (usually Rotterdam or Antwerp), a German port, a UK port and either Le Havre or one of the second-tier European ports.

In fact, since 2009, shipping lines have also started calling at additional North European ports which they previously did not serve directly, such as Gdansk in Poland. Initially, this was partly driven by a desire to use up excess ship capacity by extending voyage times (in conjunction with slow steaming). However, it has not proved to be a short-lived move and now appears to be well established.

None of the major North European ports has become dominant or displaced competing ports.  However, some second-tier ports (such as Amsterdam and Thamesport) have been forced out as ports of call on the Far East-North Europe route.

So, vessels calling at four North European ports has been a constant in the past 10 years and there is no sign at all of a move to a single North European mega-hub.

This confirms the old shipping adage that the mothership must go as close as possible to the final destination or origin of the cargo – where the market is a large one. This is also advantageous for shippers, because direct calls avoid the risk of missed feeder connections.

But the port industry is seeing radical change in another area: the total number of North Europe port calls on the Far East-North Europe route has fallen from 159 to 101 in the past 5 years whereas the average ship size has increased by over 50%, reaching nearly 11,000 teu. Each vessel still calls at more or less the same number of North European ports, but there are fewer weekly services and therefore less frequent calls at ports overall, by much larger ships, with much larger container exchanges per call.

For example, in the first half of 2014, the port of Hamburg received 244 Ultra Large Container Vessels of more than 10,000 teu capacities, 27% more than a year earlier. But what are the factors behind the pattern of less frequent, bigger ships calling at the major traditional ports?

Scale economies on mothership costs (running fewer weekly services with bigger ships), the advent of larger alliances (less duplication of port calls) and the reduction in the number of carriers (exit of MISC, Zim and others from the trade) have all played a part. These factors will not go away and should see a continuation of the current structure and rotation patterns of Far East-North Europe services.

Drewry's View
Multi-port rotations will continue in North Europe, but there will be fewer, less frequent calls by increasingly large containerships. The peaking caused by this will continue to challenge many ports and terminals.

Source: Drewry Maritime Research –  'Container Insight Weekly'
 

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter July 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

US Navy Tests Latest Aegis Weapon System

The U.S. Navy conducted a series of cooperative air defense test exercises with the Spanish navy that culminated in live missile firing events using the latest Aegis Weapon System baseline July 20-21.

Antwerp Port CEO Scoops Baron Title

After 25 years as CEO of Antwerp Port Authority, Eddy Bruyninckx has been raised to the nobility by H.M. the king of Belgium with the rank of baron. In Belgium

SENER Presents Two FORAN Papers at the Morintekh

In June, the SENER engineering and technology group participated in the 17th Morintekh – Praktik 2016 Scientific Conference, in the city of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Ports

Antwerp Port CEO Scoops Baron Title

After 25 years as CEO of Antwerp Port Authority, Eddy Bruyninckx has been raised to the nobility by H.M. the king of Belgium with the rank of baron. In Belgium

Libya's PFG to Lift Terminal Blockades

Petroleum Facilities Guard has blocked terminals for months. Ras Lanuf, Es Sider terminals damaged by fighting. Libya's Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) will

Asia-N.Europe Box Rates Fall 8.1 pct

Freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe fell 8.1 percent to $713 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ended on Friday,

Container Ships

Asia-N.Europe Box Rates Fall 8.1 pct

Freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe fell 8.1 percent to $713 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ended on Friday,

G6 Updates Asia-North America West Coast Service

Two services will be merged into one until further notice / Reason is change in market demand / All other services remain unchanged. Members of the G6 Alliance

Trieste Terminal Selects N4 TOS

Navis has announced a new N4 terminal operating system (TOS) licensing agreement with Italian terminal, Trieste Marine Terminal (TMT). TMT selected the Navis TOS

Intermodal

Asia-N.Europe Box Rates Fall 8.1 pct

Freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe fell 8.1 percent to $713 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ended on Friday,

G6 Updates Asia-North America West Coast Service

Two services will be merged into one until further notice / Reason is change in market demand / All other services remain unchanged. Members of the G6 Alliance

Trieste Terminal Selects N4 TOS

Navis has announced a new N4 terminal operating system (TOS) licensing agreement with Italian terminal, Trieste Marine Terminal (TMT). TMT selected the Navis TOS

Logistics

Team Britannia, GAC Inks Partnership Deal

As Team Britannia prepares for its bid to break the round-the-world powerboat record later this year, GAC has been named their official shipping and logistics partner.

Libya's PFG to Lift Terminal Blockades

Petroleum Facilities Guard has blocked terminals for months. Ras Lanuf, Es Sider terminals damaged by fighting. Libya's Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) will

Unipec: U.S. ANS Destined for Sinopec

Arbitrage opens after ANS discount widen on ample supplies. Unipec, the trading arm of top Asian refiner Sinopec, has bought two U.S. crude cargoes, including

Consulting

RINA Closes Edif Group Acquisition

RINA S.p.A, the holding company of the multinational testing, inspection, certification and consulting engineering group based in Genoa, Italy, has announced that

CNO Visits Chinese North Sea Fleet

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson visited Chinese North Sea Fleet headquarters, July 20 to meet with fleet commander Vice Adm. Yuan Yubai. The

Fitch Affirms Adani Ports and SEZ at ‘BBB-‘

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) today informed the Stock Exchanges that Fitch Ratings, Singapore has affirmed India-based APSEZ’s Long-Term

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0990 sec (10 req/sec)