May 03, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is positioned to be one of the pivotal ports of call in Asia with deepwater terminals that can serve mega vessels which are transforming global container shipping, officials said. The so-called mega vessels include CMA CGM’s new ships which can carry 16,000 containers (twenty foot equivalent units), the second of which began its journey from Korea’s Busan port earlier this month.
Maersk Lines Triple-E class (Economy of scale, Energy efficient and Environmentally improved) fuel efficient ships which are still under construction will be able to carry up to 18,000 TEUs.
The ships which can carry more containers than the Maersks E-series ships (14,700 TEUs) will use ‘slow steaming’, a technique that promises 30 to 50 percent lower fuel consumption, by steaming at 19 to 17.5 nautical miles an hour.
But it can also add several extra days to journey times.
“With the big ships coming into the picture they need a lot of volume,” Priyath Wickrema, head of state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said on the sidelines of a