Container shipping demand and Amazon

I was thinking today about the shipping market. The demand is way down ships are being laid up and dismantled.  The demand for American seafarers has been declining for years for a number of reasons. GCaptian ran an article from Bloomberg about the container shipping market. How they had ramped up capacity expecting there to be a boom in the demand for maritime transportation. But, the high demand didn’t show up – resulting in a glut of capacity and nothing for it to do.

While the container market is reaching a low point, ships are lying empty for extended periods and the older vessels being scrapped, new vessels are coming out of the shipyards bigger than ever. There is a hint of Amazon entering the container shipping market. This could make it a fascinating year and coming decade in shipping. I could see it changing the market dramatically. Even bringing about a whole new design of ships. Especially, over the period of 10 – 15 years.

If Amazon does enter the market as a vessel owner or operator. I think that there could be a complete change in the design of their ships. Making it favorable to transition from the containerization model that is now the mass market of intermodal transportation design.  Shifting to a model that better integrates the use of automated port facilities, weighing, cataloging, real-time tracking, and even self-driving trucks, delivery robots and drones.

Making the packages being sent from the factory to the door without having to load and unload containers. but, still effective enough to keep the packages safe from the elements and the sea. It would require less human interference and greater efficiency and safety – while I would think that during that period there would still be a lot of human interaction – I think that the design would need to be redone – to meet the demands of the modern market.

I imagine that the newer designs would require less human interference. That they would provide greater efficiency and safety. I would think that during the transition period and for many years following there would still be a lot of human interaction. I think that the design would need to be redone – to meet the demands of the modern market.

I think that design changes in container shipping are necessary to meet the demands of the modern market.

I look forward to the changes that the future will bring and all of the new problems and challenges it will bring with it.

Fair Winds.

Article by Jaquie

Co-Founder of Coeval, Inc. a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy with a degree in Maritime Operations and Technology. An eMBA Candidate at and a USCG Approved Instructor for various topics. She has worked primarily on Liquefied Natural Gas Vessels completing, conventional loads and discharges, Ship to Ship transfers, commissionings, and Regasification through APL Systems and HP Manifolds. She has also worked aboard, Pure-Car Carriers, Product Tankers, General Cargo, and Bulk Grain Vessels. She currently holds an Unlimited Master Mariners Licence issued by the United States Coast Guard. With the following endorsements: Certified Person in Charge (PIC) for the transfer of Dangerous Liquids and Liquefied Gas, Certified Person in Charge of Medical Care aboard ship, Lifeboatman-Fast Rescue Boats, GMDSS, Vessel Security Officer, Crowd Control and Crisis Management, Qualified Member of the Engineering Department and Jr. Engineer.