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OECD questions benefits of new ultra-large vessels

Primarily new engines, not vessel size, are behind a majority of the savings related to the ultra-large container ships, says OECD in a new and critical review of the consequences of mega-ships.

Container ships in the global fleet have grown significantly in recent years, where Maersk Line with its Triple-E series - which holds 18,200 twenty foot containers - was the first carrier to really launch this development. Many other big carriers have followed suit since then, including CMA CGM as well as numerous Chinese players, and the yards currently have orders for ships of up to 21,000 teu, set for delivery in 2017.

But what do these mega-vessels actually mean for the industry? The International Transport Forum (ITF), under OECD, has looked at this matter in a new report 'Mega-Ships: Trends and Rationale' in which the organization casts a critical glance at whether the many benefits of the ultra-large ships still outweigh the challenges faced by the rest of the supply chain when the ships are deployed, primarily on Asia-Europe.

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