Someone has been doing his/her homework. Finally. Here’s a headline in the August 19th edition of Port Technology — “Mega-ships: just too mega?” – Followed by this forthright comment:
“In an already claustrophobic climate, container terminals in gateway ports around the globe may not be able to keep up with the ever-expanding vessel sizes due to limits on crane technology and shrinking yard space.
“The Journal of Commerce reported that ports in northern Europe and the US have been struggling throughout the summer with congestion wrought by the docking of mega-ship carriers.
“Some major ports outside the US have taken to erecting super-size cranes that top around 132m. These can load containers up to 25 rows across on mega-ships up to 18,000 TEUs that are deployed on the Asia-Europe trade routes.
“Ports in the US do not handle ships that size. However, they are implementing cranes that can reach across 22 rows of containers, yet even with these cranes, terminals will still have to confront issues of space needed to accommodate the large ships.
“Jeff de Best, chief operating officer of APM Terminals, said in an interview with the Journal of Commerce: ‘When cranes get high enough to reach ten rows or higher, you get more swing and sway when you have to work the lower levels of the stacks.’
“He added: ‘The big ships are putting pressure on the civil infrastructure and the yard sizes. If you can’t get the boxes out of your yard quickly, you run out of space and it becomes a matter of where you put them.’
“Another potential reason for increasing congestion and ship sizes is the knock-on effect of vessel-sharing alliances between industry leaders.” —
1. “… limits on crane technology and shrinking yard space.”
2. “… congestion wrought by the docking of mega-ship carriers.”
3. “… terminals will still have to confront issues of space needed …”
4. “… you get more swing and sway when you have to work the lower levels of the stacks.”
5. “The big ships are putting pressure on the civil infrastructure and the yard sizes.”
6. “If you can’t get the boxes out of your yard quickly, you run out of space …”
7. “… it becomes a matter of where you put them.”
Every one of these hand-wringing, unsolvable problems will no longer exist when our patented storage, retrieval and delivery systems are retrofitted in those ports. You’ll see.