Despite the strains that mega vessels may put on port operations, they did not have a major impact on port performance in 2017, a study undertaken by CargoSmart showed.
Thw study, which compared mega vessel and non-mega vessel performance in the ports of Los Angeles, Rotterdam, and Shanghai, revealed that very large vessels did not experience significantly longer than average arrival and departure delays than non-mega vessels at the three ports during the year.
In 2017, ocean carriers deployed hundreds of mega vessels, with a capacity of 10,000 or more TEUs, to ship cargo around the globe.
When looking at the number of vessel arrivals at the three ports, the study found that Shanghai was the busiest port, serving the most mega vessels and the most vessels overall among three ports. Rotterdam served the most vessels with a capacity of less than 10,000 TEUs.
Vessel arrival delays were shorter for mega vessels at Los Angeles and Rotterdam, according to the findings.
Taking a closer look at the overall average vessel arrival delays at the ports for the year, the study found out that mega vessels at Los Angeles and Rotterdam had shorter vessel arrival delays than non-mega vessels. At Shanghai, mega vessels had longer vessel arrival delays than non-mega vessels. While the difference in performance between mega vessels and non-mega vessels was 1.1 hours for Rotterdam and Shanghai, the performance difference was greater at Los Angeles. On average for the year, mega vessels had 2.7 hours shorter arrival delays than non-mega vessels at Los Angeles.
Furthermore, the findings showed that vessel departure delays at the three ports were longer for mega vessels. However, the difference between the mega vessel and non-mega vessel delays only deviated by about one hour at each of the ports.
The longest average departure delays were at Shanghai for both types of vessels, with an average departure delay of 26.9 hours for mega vessels and 25.4 hours for non-mega vessels in 2017.
CargoSmart’s Global Vessel Voyage Monitoring Center (GVVMC), through which the study was conducted, will continue to monitor port performance by vessel size for changes in performance over time.