Are container ships getting too big ?

Our transport is heavily oil-based. What are the alternatives?

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adam2
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Are container ships getting too big ?

Post by adam2 »

Interesting article here
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21432226

UP TO A POINT, bigger is better since the fuel used per ton or per container is less in a large ship than a small one.

I suspect however that the present and proposed ships are too big, few ports can handle them, and they are vulnerable to bad weather or other accident. In event of serious damage or breakdown such large ships are beyond improvised repair or other action by the crew that could save a more modest sized vessel.
If the engine breaks, I doubt that much can be done beyond trying the computerised start sequence again.
Because so little can be done by the crew, it has been suggested that these ships could make complety automatic, unmanned ocean crossings, with a pilot being put on board by helicopter when nearing port.
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Post by adam2 »

And just to show that smaller container ships are by means imune to accident !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HFARxn73dk

Video of various mishaps, I have seen the same or a very similar compliation entitled "why imported electrical goods dont allways work"
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Post by emordnilap »

There is a plan to build a deep-water container port not far from us, on the Shannon estuary. It is one of the few places in Europe suitable (depths of 20 metres plus) for a mega-dock like this. It is going to be around a mile in length and they're talking about a 50,000 container capacity, 'mother' ships offloading for distribution via smaller vessels and road.

I have my doubts about its viability given the economy and over-capacity, plus the weather from the Atlantic can be atrocious - but people are a bit stupid.

I might suggest it is named in honour of Easter islanders.
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Post by emordnilap »

A time-lapse video taken onboard a container ship

Watch it full screen. Kind of beautiful in its own way, but dizzying and scary too.
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Post by adam2 »

An old friend of mine travelled as a passenger on a container ship, from the UK to the USA and highly recommends the experience.
Although lacking the facilities of a cruise liner, the container ship voyage offered a great deal more space and a relaxed atmosphere.
The passenger cabin would probably have been described as a "double emperor suite" or some such daft superlative by a cruise company.

Large comfortable double bed, with power operated safety rails to prevent falling out in rough weather. separate day room with desk, upright chair, easy chair and sofa. En-suite shower and WC, direct deck access.

The crossing was very rough indeed, "one of the worst" that the very experienced captain had known.
The return voyage on a different ship was much calmer.

I wonder if this may become more popular ? will never be a mass market of course because only 12 passengers may be carried on a cargo ship.

Very green I suspect, since although such ships burn a lot of fuel, the EXTRA fuel used by carrying a few passengers is probably too small to measure.
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Post by emordnilap »

adam2 wrote:An old friend of mine travelled as a passenger on a container ship, from the UK to the USA and highly recommends the experience.
Yes, it's one of the few ways I'd like to travel to distant parts. Third after train or cycle/walk.
adam2 wrote:Very green I suspect, since although such ships burn a lot of fuel, the EXTRA fuel used by carrying a few passengers is probably too small to measure.
Very green from the passenger's point of view. One could argue that the bigger container ship is, the 'greener' it is. :lol:

https://wikitravel.org/en/Freighter_travel

Internet access? It's not mentioned.
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Post by adam2 »

Most cargo ships these days have internet access via satellite, much too expensive though for frivolous use.
A satellite phone is also normal equipment, but again too expensive for routine use.
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Post by Pepperman »

There's a small but passionate cargo ship travelling contingent. I'd love to do it some time but it does work out quite expensive (something like $100/day last time I looked). Maybe it would be a good option if I ever need to write a book....

Satellite internet has become a lot cheaper in recent years. You can now get satellite broadband with similar data allowances and prices to mobile phone packages.
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