A REPORT by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has said that more than half of the fuel savings generated from larger ships were due to design changes for slower speeds.
It suggested fuel savings among mega-boxships come more from slow-steaming and less from its larger vessel size, said Vancouver's Ship & Bunker.
Carrier lines making orders for larger ships to cut down on per-unit costs have long touted the fuel efficiency of using larger containerships, reported Reuters.
Between 55 and 63 per cent (at least) of the savings per TEU when upgrading the vessel size from an early 15,000 TEU design to a modern 19,000 TEU design are actually attributable to the layout for lower operation speeds.
Newbuilds these days are increasingly having slow-steaming built into the ship design, which make the difference for ships beyond a certain size.
"Cost savings are decreasing as ships become bigger," the OECD said.
"A large share of the cost savings were achieved by ship upsizing to 5,000 TEU, which more than halved the unit costs per TEU, but the cost savings beyond that capacity are much smaller."
Nevertheless, the organisation said that mega-containerships were "astonishingly fuel efficient," generating more fuel savings than even a 16,000 TEU carrier.
Meanwhile, the upgrade to larger ship size is also increasing landside costs by up to US$400 million per year, with factors such as new equipment, dredging costs and port infrastructure having been taken into consideration.
Earlier this year, a unit of the OECD also clashed with the World Shipping Council (WSC) over differing opinions of mega-containerships.
Source : HKSG.