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Understanding the Impacts of Megaships

May 15, 2017
News, News Homepage

On Wednesday, May 17, the Federal Highway Administration will offer the webinar Understanding the Impacts of Megaships, from 1 – 2:30 p.m. ET.

In recent years, many ocean container shipping carriers have introduced larger and larger ships into their fleets.  There have been many factors that have driven the push for these larger ships; they include increasing global trade, a desire by ocean carriers for greater economies of scale, efforts to reduce overall fleet emissions, and port improvements in certain parts of the world, particularly southeast Asia and Europe.  Megaships provide various benefits, including the potential for lower product costs and lower fleet emissions, but they also create various challenges, particularly related to increased port and landside infrastructure needs.  Many U.S. ports are deepening their channels, raising their bridge heights, and/or augmenting their landside facilities to better accommodate the larger ships, but the ships’ massive sizes makes infrastructure improvements challenging, especially at land-constrained ports.  Megaships can also create various community impacts, largely due to the increased infrastructure needs and larger shipment sizes, and municipalities near ports need to be aware of what kind of impacts, positive and negative, the new ultra-large ships can have on their communities.