THE assumption that a larger containership always results in lower operating costs is being challenged by the prevailing market dynamics, according to Maersk Line.
Speaking at a media briefing, global COO of Maersk Line, Soren Toft, was quoted as saying in a report by Seatrade Maritime News: "Previously the bigger the ship the lower the cost, but what we are seeing right now is a phenomenon of very depressed time charter rates and very low bunker cost.
"So part of the equation of going from a 6,000 TEU vessel to a 10,000 TEU vessel in a trade is being challenged because of these dynamics."
Mr Toft also pointed out that with a bigger ship you had to call more ports and make more contingencies.
"So there is much more to this a bigger ship is always better," he said.
One of the few bits of positive news Mr Toft was able to give in regards to where the market was headed was that the bunker price is currently in the range of US$200 to $220.
"The general trajectory we see for rates in the liner industry is for a slow erosion of rates," he said. The average container freight rate decreased by 1.9 per cent annually since 2004. "We see no reason why that trend over the long term will not continue."
Source : HKSG.