Intra-Asian regional container traffic is forecast to reach 75 million TEU in 2016, up nearly 32 percent from 2012's 57 million TEU, says Germanishcher Lloyd (GL), which writes about a new containership design aimed at the market in the latest issue of its Nonstop magazine
"Container traffic in Asia is forecast to grow faster than elsewhere in the world up until 2016. It is assumed that this trend will continue despite apparent moderate growth in China," the ship classification society writes.
"In times of high fuel prices and strict regulations, ship efficiency
is a concern of paramount importance. Port efficiency, on the other
hand, is an important consideration for regional shipping involving
short round trips with many port calls," according to the article.
GL said it has designed a ship called C-Dragon
that has design layout features considered to have an effect on container movement times. The features include:
- More TEU on deck, which means less need to move hatch covers
- Fewer bays, which means cranes need to be moved less often
- Low variability of container slots on deck, which means cranes have a more uniform workload
The ship is designed to have capacity of 3,736 TEUs — 2,364 TEUs on deck and 1,372 TEUs in the hold — and will be capable of carrying 2,920 TEUs loaded at 14 tons.
GL said the shipbroker Clarkson estimated the price of building the C-Dragon
at $40 million.
An economic analysis compared C-Dragon
with a 4,250-TEU Panamax ship cascaded into Asia as a feeder and found "from an economic perspective, the new concept compares favorably with competitive older tonnage," GL wrote.
A comparison using a 5-year financial life, 5-percent interest, and estimated annual operating costs found "a small advantage for a new C-Dragon against an existing 4,250-TEU Panamax. The largest share of the total annual costs is fuel cost, which depends on the speed and the specific fuel oil consumption of the vessels.
"With faster port turnarounds, C-Dragon
spends more of its operating hours at sea. However, thanks to its optimized hull form, C-Dragon
consumes 30-percent less fuel than the slow-steaming 4,250-TEU Panamax vessel," due to advanced main and auxiliary engine technology, according to the article.
GL says it is continuing work on the design of the C-Dragon
. - Chris Dupin