From Journal of Commerce--
Mega-ships seeing greater delays than smaller ships at European ports
In an analysis of ship calls at major North Europe ports between April 15 and May 15, it found that more than half of arrivals by ships of 10,000 TEUs or higher were delayed by more than 12 hours and nearly a quarter were delayed more than 24 hours. But a larger set of ship calls at those ports, most of which involved smaller ships, saw lesser delays, pointing clearly to higher delays associated with larger ships. Overall, 24 percent of the larger vessels arrived over a day late, while only 13 percent of the vessels overall arrived over a day late.
“Compared to the overall average, large vessels’ delays were significantly more,” CargoSmart said.
The analysis points to growing challenges faced by terminals in handling mega-ships. Ship sizes are growing faster than productivity as carriers focus on scale, leading to delays at ports and forcing carriers at times to speed up ships to maintain schedule reliability, in the process incurring higher fuel costs.
The CargoSmart analysis focused on arrival schedules of 22 ocean carriers at Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Hamburg and Rotterdam in the Asia-Europe and other trades. It compared the actual time of ships’ arrivals to the estimated time of arrivals in schedules provided by the carriers.
There were 2,017 vessel arrivals analyzed, 129 of which were vessels with capacities of more than 10,000 TEUs. The study found that more than 50 percent of those 10,000+ TEU vessels’ arrivals were delayed more than 12 hours and 24 percent were delayed more than 24 hours. Comparatively, the 2,017 vessel arrivals overall on average were delayed more than 12 hours only 29 percent of the time, and more than 24 hours only 13 percent of the time.
The 10,000+ TEU ships had greater delays than the average at all of the ports except Bremerhaven. The average delay of the mega-ships at Hamburg, for example, was 60 percent greater than the average. When evaluating the percentage of vessels delayed more than one day, Rotterdam experienced the most disruptions, with 34 percent of its vessels delayed more than 24 hours, which was double the overall average of 17 percent.
According to the JOC Group’s port productivity data, Bremerhaven was the most productive port in North Europe in 2013, with an average of 86.4 berth moves per hour, followed by Rotterdam with an average of 85.7 moves per hour. Hamburg was ranked No. 4 in North Europe in JOC’s port productivity data in 2013, with an average of 81 moves per hour, and Antwerp was No. 8, with an average of 64 moves per hour. The JOC data is provided by carriers and measures total berth moves between lines down and lines up, a key measurement of how fast terminals are getting ships turned around.
“As more mega vessels are deployed to call at European ports, and as new carrier services are introduced, the impact of mega-vessels on port performance may become more serious,” CargoSmart said.
As of May 1, 179 of the 379 container ships in the Asia-Europe trade lane had capacities of 10,000 TEUs or more, Alphaliner said in its latest monthly report. In terms of cargo capacity, ships of 10,000 TEUs or more account for 2,397,810 TEUs or 60 percent of the total 3,971,710 TEUs in the Asia-Europe lane, according to the analyst.