05:02 GMT +319 January 2020
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    An industry afforded little mainstream media attention is going through its worst recession in 50 years. Ships, big ships, mega-ships are struggling for survival.

    A recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revealed that that mega-boats are no longer that mega. Vessels are being built four to six times smaller than they used to be, suggesting smaller boats with better engines are better value for money than a gigantic behemoth of a vessel.

    Adam Minter, US author of, "Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion Dollar Trash Trade," recently wrote an article for Bloomberg View, highlighting the threats to the mega-ship industry with boats that "can only dock at a handful of the world's biggest ports," making them targets for cyber and terrorism attacks. 

    Minter also points out that mega-ships have caused traffic jams on the water — and onshore, creating a shipping container backlog at ports — because not many docking spots around the world are big enough to handle them.

    The OECD estimates that global trade will continue to grow — but at a slower pace.

    "A big reason why is that emerging economies, such as China, are hoping to rely more on domestic consumption and less on export-led growth," Minter writes.

    The cost of a container can be as much as US$200 million and big remains beautiful in the mega-shipping industry.

    Owners are increasing global capacity by 4.5 percent this year — and by another 5.6 percent in 2017 in the hope of putting smaller shipping companies out of business, suggesting that despite the struggle for survival, mega-ships will still be on the world's seas. 

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    Russia to spend $13 bln on shipping in next 10 years - Putin
    Tags:
    ships, global trade, economic recession, vessel, ship, industry, recession, World, China, United States, United Kingdom
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