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Single weekly mega ship call can make or break Euro port: Belgian study

BECAUSE of growing ship sizes on the Asia-Europe route, a single weekly service can make or break a northern European port today in ways that were unthinkable little more than a decade ago, according to a Belgian study.

Single weekly mega ship call can make or break Euro port: Belgian study
13 April 2015 - 20:14

Single weekly mega ship call can make or break Euro port: Belgian study

BECAUSE of growing ship sizes on the Asia-Europe route, a single weekly service can make or break a northern European port today in ways that were unthinkable little more than a decade ago, according to a Belgian study.

"Winning or losing a weekly call can have a huge impact on the annual volumes handled by Europe's container ports," said University of Antwerp transport professor Theo E Notteboom, writing in PortEconomics. 

The average size of ships has increased from 4,250 TEU in 1998 to 12,200 TEU in 2015. That means a 1998 a weekly call produced 80,000 - 100,000 TEU a 2015 call that 235,000 - 330,000 TEU, an increase of 300 per cent.

What's more, as ship sizes increase, the number of regular liner services on the north Europe-Far East route shrink. The number of Asia-Europe liner services peaked in 2006 with 30 regular services - today there are 20.

Looking ahead, a weekly Asia-Europe operated with 10 to 11 vessels of 20,000 TEU is expected to generate 385,000 to 540,000 TEU per North-European port of call, he said in UK's Port Strategy. 

"No wonder port authorities and terminal operators are doing everything they can to accommodate carriers and their ever larger vessels," said Prof Notteboom.

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