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Larger ships dominating busy routes: Unctad

Larger ships dominating busy routes: Unctad

Unctad report on maritime transport says that ships have become bigger, and the number of companies in most markets has diminished over the last 10 years. The report stated that on an average, the number of companies whose ships sail into each country has decreased by 27 per cent during the last 10 years from 22 in 2004 to just 16 in 2013.

In the same period, the average size of a container vessel has almost doubled, with the largest ships deployed on the busiest trade lanes, such as on the Asia-Europe route. This has led to smaller ships being deployed on the North-South and intra-regional routes such as Latin America, Africa and South Asia.

On the vessel sizes, since 2004 the average container-carrying capacity of the largest ship has almost doubled, from 2,812 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) ten years ago to 5,540 TEU in 2013.

The size of the largest existing ships has also almost doubled during these 10 years (from 8,238 TEU to 16,020 TEU), said the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report, which is based on a database of 159 countries.

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