Giant ships put pressure on South American ports

The rate of ever-larger ships on the north and southbound container route has, according to APM Terminals, surpassed even the most optimistic expectations, reports the Journal of Commerce.

Hamburg Süd's new container ships, the so-called Cap San class (photo), with a capacity of 9,700 teu each - making them the largest reefer vessels in the world - seem to illustrate the current pressure on the several South American ports that are feeling the explosive growth in ship sizes.

"Everyone talks about the increase in the size of ships in the east-west trades, but on a percentage basis, the biggest increases have been in the north-south trades," Neil Davidson, senior analyst for ports and terminals at Drewry Maritime Research, tells Journal of Commerce.

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