11 June 2021


On 15 June, CLECAT will participate in an online event organised by MEPs Jutta Paulus (Germany, Greens/EFA) and Vera Tax (the Netherlands, S&D) on the impacts of mega vessels. The recent blockage of the Suez Canal by the ‘Ever Given’ shed a light on the vulnerability of EU supply chains and raised questions of mega-ships in the liner shipping.

Container ships have grown over recent decades due to a continuous search for economies of scale. and contributed to decreasing maritime transport costs that facilitated global trade. However, the increase in container ship sizes has environmental and social consequences for the rest of the transport chain. Big ships require infrastructure adaptations and productivity levels that increase costs for other stakeholders in the supply chain. Moreover, big ships cause peaks in ports and put a strain on hinterland transports. Congestion often becomes inevitable as the hinterland or feeder ships are not always able to absorb the exceptional flow of unloaded containers.

CLECAT already published a blog post in April 2021 warning about the risks implied by the upscaling of container vessels, especially during the ongoing crisis with unprecedented peaking freight rates and all-time low quality of service. CLECAT will participate in a panel debate on the economic rationale behind big ships, with representatives from Transport & Environment, the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and DG COMP. You can register to the event via this link.