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Maersk rejects OECD view that mega ships generate minimal savings

DANISH shipping giant, Maersk Line, has disputed an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report which claims that mega ships generate minimal savings and lead to ports failing to keep up with infrastructure upgrades.

Maersk rejects OECD view that mega ships generate minimal savings
06 June 2015 - 07:45
Maersk rejects OECD view that mega ships generate minimal savings

DANISH shipping giant, Maersk Line, has disputed an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report which claims that mega ships generate minimal savings and lead to ports failing to keep up with infrastructure upgrades.

The report, at times the focus of a ministerial meeting in Leipzig, argued that cost savings in this generation of ship size upgrades were four to six times smaller than previous increases, reported Vancouver's Ship & Bunker. 

But Maersk as well as the World Council of Shipping and Singapore global port operator PSA International differed.

"The difference in savings on a TEU on a new mega-vessel and an older 14,000-TEU container ship can reach up to US$500 in our calculations, which is somewhat higher than at OECD estimate," said Maersk Line vice president Amdi Krogh.

"So here, there is no doubt that the large ships provide real savings and are more cost efficient than older generations of vessels." 

Although he admitted that larger ship volumes will likely require upgrades at terminals and ports, he said that it was the "natural consequence" of the industry to have to keep up with growing numbers.

"At Maersk Line, we invest in the most efficient vessels and of course we are in continuous discussions with out terminal operators about what they need, but we don't put increased pressure on them."

Last month, it was reported that the industry is expecting Maersk Line to order up to eleven 20,000 TEU box ships for around $151 million apiece. 

The OECD's unit, the International Transport Forum's (ITF) report warned that the transport costs caused by the deployment of mega ships could be substantial because of the need for investment in port infrastructure.

It also said that the cost savings were falling as ships became larger, six times smaller than the savings from the previous round of upsizing and that 60 per cent of the savings came from more efficient engines.

But the report from the World Shipping Council, which represents 90 per cent of container shipping, defended the efficiency of larger ships, rebutting claims that they, and vessel sharing alliances were responsible for port congestion.

"There are carriers in VSAs that would simply not be able to make the investments required to serve every port they cover pursuant to VSA space-sharing arrangements if they had to serve that network with their own assets," the report said.

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