How The Two Economic Superpowers Are Managing the Rising Demand for Mega-Ships
We have published an article before in which we insisted on the importance of mega-ships in the near future. These super big ships will dominate the ocean shipping because of their huge space capacity and technological development.
Naturally, the demand for these extra-large ships is consistently rising. These ships can deliver goods faster, cheaper and safer than normal containers ships. Therefore, it is essential that the shipping industry adapts with these demands.
The only thing that is slowing ship alliances from obtaining more mega-ships is the limited number of ports that can handle these ships. Therefore, it is expected that ports will start enhancements in order to be able to host mega-ships to become important major hubs.
1.China Is Ready
In general, Asian ports have made huge progress in this area. In particular, the biggest progress and be felt and seen in China. In the two past decades, Chinese ports have witnessed a huge rapid advancement and development.
It is enough to mention that seven out of the world’s ten largest ports are located in China. These ports are also among the busiest ports in the world. The trade volume at the Port of Shanghai is more than the combined total of the top five ports in the US.
The United States ports are still behind their Chinese counterparts. In fact, all North American ports are still slow in terms of productivity when compared with their European and Asian counterparts.
2.Investments Are Necessary
Handling mega-ships is complicated and it requires special machines and well-trained workers. Ports will need to increase their size and deepen their berth. These changes and developments are expensive and they require huge investments.
Ports should have the necessary equipment and workforce to allow the smooth and easy trade of huge volumes of cargos. This high trade capacity requires extended ports and terminal facilities such as efficient gate operations and trucker availability.
3.US Ports Readiness For Handling Mega-Ships
Some ports in the US have been developed in order to meet the rising demand for mega-ships. Below you will find the major US ports that can handle such ships:
- Los Angeles:
The port of Los Angeles is the only American port among the world’s ten largest ports. Due to its strategic location, the port of Los Angeles dominates the trade between the US west coast and Asia.
A budget of $1.3 billion was allocated to the port to develop its terminals and infrastructure to be able to handle larger vessels and increase container volumes, and to obtain the technology needed to improve supply chain efficiency. This investment is expected to contribute to the growth of the port.
The port’s size is undergoing a $34 million rail yard expansion. This expansion will allow the port to, decrease the number of trips required by trucking, improve cargo flow, and increase overall capacity by an estimated 10\.
- Long Beach:
After going through an economic downturn in 2010, the port of Long Beach has recovered and it has been growing steadily. This port is able to handle 14,000TEU container ships and to receive mega-ships.
Major investments have been pumped into its budget to expand its facilities. Among the projects, a $1.5 billion project to develop Piers D, E, and F into a massive 3,300,000TEU terminal that will allow the port to host three 21,000TEU vessels to berth at the same time. Combined together, the two major Californian ports will be able to receive 41 million TEUs.
- New York and New Jersey:
These two ports enjoyed $4.7 billion in investments to develop their capacities in order to receive mega-ships. Projects include deepening their harbors and elevate the Bayonne Bridge to allow mega-ships to reach three of the port’s main four terminals.
The ports spent $4.7 billion on improving infrastructure to host mega-ships. The development projects involve two marine terminals and the APM Terminals facility.
Many other American ports are going under development projects in order to be able to receive more container ships and handle a number of mega-ships. These ports are Port of Savannah, Port of Houston, Port of Philadelphia, Port of Boston, Port of Norfolk, Port of Charleston.