| Written by Mark Buzinkay
Ships are getting bigger and bigger. Today's most powerful vessels can carry 25.000 TEU and more. This accelerating development is triggered to reduce operating costs: more containers per trip means higher profitability.
On the other side, this trend puts pressure on terminals to perform because shipping lines need to stay on schedule to meet their customer's demands. Demurrage costs can decrease profits, and higher fuel consumption when catching-up lost time annihilates the rest.
The consequences of being late are likely to escalate because, as mega-ships take up more time at port, berth windows are harder to find, putting the already late vessel even further off its planned arrival.
One strategy to cope with the appearance of mega-vessels and the decreasing schedule reliability is to improve the productivity per berth.