The logistics group of Crowley Maritime Corp. has added less-than-containerload (LCL) cargo service to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, via Crowley's Miami distribution center. The latter will now serve as a cargo arrival and departure service point.
The year 2014 will see the debut of the Triple E, first of a series of at least 20 containerships to be operated by Denmark's Maersk Line, each with a capacity of 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Few could have imagined this behemoth at the dawn of containerization in the mid-1950s. (Malcom McLean's Ideal X carried only 58 boxes.) In the ensuing decades, containerships grew steadily in size, as operators sought to squeeze the most out of their investments. When ships became too wide to fit through the Panama Canal, builders doubled down. Between 2008 and 2015, average ship size will have risen from 6,000 TEUs to more than 11,000 TEUs, according to Lars Jensen, chief executive officer and partner with SeaIntel Maritime Analysis. Maersk's Triple Es will dwarf them all.
Analyst Insight: While on one hand the container shipping industry has become ever more commoditized, a new range of service measurements could increase the potential for market differentiation. The key to any differentiation is the ability to make it clear to the customer what the difference is. Such transparency would certainly be a novelty in the industry. - Lars Jensen, CEO, SeaIntel Maritime Analysis