Andrew Penfold, project director at Ocean Shipping Consultants (OSC), has said that ships of 22,000 teu or more could be ordered soon.
“There are some fairly well-advanced discussions on some vessels of around 22,000 teu or maybe slightly more,” Penfold told the TOC Europe conference in Rotterdam last week.
Currently, the ship with the biggest capacity in the world is the MSC Oscar which can accommodate 19,224 teu. The CSCL Globe is the biggest in terms of length but can carry 124 teu less.
However, Penfold said that research by OSC and Lloyd’s Register has found that there is no technical reason why ships can’t become bigger than this.
This conflicts with comments made to CM in May by Jan Tiedemann, a shipping analyst at Alphaliner.
“For the foreseeable future, I do not think the vessels will grow much more more except within their current dimensions,” he said, “I very much doubt that they will go to the next big step which is 440 m long”.
On the contrary, Penfold said: “Vessels will be longer rather than deeper, at least in the first instance.”
Currentlythe world’s biggest ships are around 400 m long and 59 m wide, even if they are advertised as 20-21,000 teu.