Mega Ships Offer Economies of Scale and Environmental Savings – But Not Without its Drawbacks
Triple E class container ships, such as the Maersk M/V Mc-Kinney Møller offer economies of scale and environmental savings not currently available with the majority of container ships globally. The Maersk M/V Mc-Kinney Møller, for instance, is a quarter mile long and was designed for unparalleled economies of scale and environmental savings. Mega ships drive down the cost to ship each container as the ship maintenance and transportation costs of the ship are spread out over more containers and parties. Environmental concerns in the shipping industry have lead to new industry standards with regards to the carbon footprint emitted by container ships. New technology and engineering enable the mega ships to reduce its carbon footprint drastically. For instance, the Maersk M/V Mc-Kinney Møller emits nearly half of the industry standard.
Because there are so many containers on the mega ships, it takes longer to unload cargo, which affects truckers and end-customers, increasing their time-in-transit. Some American ports are not deep enough to admit a mega ship and are having to invest in their infrastructure to accommodate the larger vessels. Also, some ports are purchasing larger cranes to unload the mega ships in anticipation of larger fleets are more routings to American ports.
Unexpected delays in the supply chain can create inventory and cash flow problems, not to mention unhappy end-customers. If an importer has dozens and dozens of containers on the same mega ship, the affect of longer unloading times can be amplified – especially if all of their orders were on the mega ship. Utilizing mega ships to your routing options can create cost savings, but it is imperative to account for additional unloading time and its affect on your inventory and cash flows.