Source: E.G. Frankel (2006) "The Future of Containerization". International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), Izmir, Turkey.
Number of Transfers per Container between Ship and Shore
The number of times of container is transshipped (shore to ship and vice versa) during a maritime segment has substantially increased. Up to the 1980s, this number was close to two, implying that in a maritime transport chain, a container was simply loaded into a ship and eventually unloaded at its destination. Then, the number of transfers more than doubled to reach about 4.7. Two major factors are at play:
  • Larger containerships. This implies potentially more unproductive moves as containers may need to be temporarily offloaded to access containers in lower stacks. Such costs and delays could partially negate the benefits of economies of scale.
  • Intermediate hubs. The setting of offshore hubs at intermediate locations implies a growing quantity of containers are transloaded between ships, which involves additional movements for the same journey.