Jean-Paul Rodrigue from Hofstra University in New York discussed if container ships actually should become larger and larger and which party gains from larger containerships? The issue of larger and larger container ships is not necessarily for the benefit for the society according to Jean-Paul Rodrigue.
- Shipping companies might want as large ships as possible, but this creates great demands on ports and other services surrounding the ship. There might be the way that scale is not always an advantage. In the future we might see a decline in the ship sizes, Jean-Paul Rodrigue said.
There is little knowledge about the optimal ship size. The disadvantages of scale are for instance port limitation, larger volumes and as a result lower frequency and supply chain constraints. Constraints on the supply chain can lead to reliability issues as well as cargo and insurance risks. Jean-Paul Rodrigue suggests that increased digitisation can be a possible solution to many of the problems facing the maritime sector.
- The reliability of cargo ships 2010 was 45 %. Impacts of larger containership on ports hinterland traffic is therefore great and can lead to local residence problems, Jean-Paul Rodrigue said.
The seminar then continued with Christian Finnsgård, Project Manager at SSPA, who presented a study about slow-steaming logistics and shippers’ ability to manage slow-steaming logistics.
- Increased reliability with longer sailing times is not always the case. However, reliability is according to the study one of the most important factors for transport buyers – even if it increases costs. Only one of the interviewed companies mentioned environmental impact as important when buying transport, Christian Finnsgård said.