Evermore Slow Steaming

By Peter Pospiech at November 05, 2013 08:00
Filed Under: General, Ports

Container Shipping Companies reduce capacity by 7.4 % - longer port laytimes also helps

Along with longer port laytimes and evermore lower voyage speeds container shipping companies reducing continuously the transport capacities. In order to tone down, to increase the round-trip time and to lift the rate level vessels reduce their speed. Since beginning of 2009 a total of 1.27 million TEU capacities have been taken off the market, says the actual market report of the branch service Alphaliner. During the last twelve months alone it has been 260 000 TEU. A further instrument played an important role: shipping owner extended their port laytime, inter alia because the meanwhile larger vessels need more clearance times. Together with the longer round-trip times it was possible to absorb 7.4 % of the existing fleet. According to Alphaliner it has been 6.2 % last year. 

Speed will be reduced evermore. After Slow Steaming with speeds around 18 knots came Extra Slow Steaming and Super Slow Steaming. Container vessels partly navigate with less than 14 knots. Based on this the round-trip times on the Far Eastern-North Europe Routes – here the taken measures are influencing factors – have been extended, between 2006 and 2013, from three to eleven weeks. In the Far East – Mediterranean Service the analysts recorded an increase from seven to ten weeks.

Another important factor is that the shipping companies are reducing drastically their fuel costs by this measure. A typical 7.000 TEU vessels, originally designed for 25 knots, which is now navigating with 12 knots, saves around 210 ton per 24 hours. This corresponds to a reduction of almost 85% at half-speed. Considering the actual fuel price, with fuel of RMK 500 and 700, of around USD 600 per ton shipping owner save around USD 126.000 per day!

Because of the development of larger vessels port laytimes are extending - also this helps against over capacities

Image source: PPM News Service 


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