Mega Ports

With the ever-increasing trade volumes on major sea routes, the drive towards reduction in operating costs of vessels by shipping companies and optimization of economy of scale for cargo movement, the common trend in ship design is the upward increase in size and cargo carrying capacity.

The above dynamics has given rise to the maritime industry witnessing bigger cargo volumes, massive cargo handling land areas and upscale increase in the value that the port facility adds to the economy of the host region. Welcome to the age of the Mega Ports.

A good example of a Mega Port is the DP World London Gateway. It is a deep-sea container port that covers about 995 acre of land area, built at a cost of £1.5 billion ($2.4 billion) and includes advanced infrastructure to handle any of the world’s biggest vessels. The Gateway has a built capacity of about 3.5 million TEU annual limit.

Key among the vessel handling facilities is the construction of a 2.7 kilometers (1.68 miles) long pier that includes six (6) deep-water berths. The berths have the capacity to accommodate the world’s largest cargo vessel such as CMA CGM Marco Polo and Maersk Triple E class ships. Part of the requirement for these vessels are deeper berths and giant high-speed cranes to reach across vast vessel decks.

In addition to the port facilities are inclusion of vast intermodal means of cargo evacuation transport systems such as extensive road network, railway and hinterland infrastructure services that would ensure seamless cargo evacuation regime.