CLASSIFICATION society Germanischer Lloyd (GL) has developed the 3,736-TEU C-Dragon ship design that provides near-sea efficiencies that beats older tonnage cascaded down from mainline trade lanes.
Such a ship would meet the needs of near-sea roundtrips and many ports of call and designed to outperform older ships in fuel efficiency, turnarounds and cargo intake, reports New Yorks Marine Link.
"Intra-Asian container traffic is set to surge and vessels in this trade typically sail beneath their design speed and make frequent port calls - 13 on a typical north south trading route," said GL vice president Pierre Sames.
C-Dragon has a high ratio of on-deck to total container TEU capacity (2,376 TEU vs 3,736 TEU) and fewer bays.
This shortens turnarounds because more boxes on deck eliminates hatch cover removal and fewer bays means fewer crane movements.
Port efficiency simulations conducted using prototype software from GL, demonstrated that the average port stay was reduced from 15 to 14 hours for C-Dragon for each harbour stay.
"C-Dragons faster port turnaround allows speed reductions in transit and therefore related fuel cost savings, without compromising any cargo transport capacity, in comparison to competing vessels," said Dr Sames.
"The effect is more pronounced for vessels on short routes with many port calls." For C-Dragon, average transit speed is reduced from 15.5 knots to 15 knots.
To lower steaming speeds and fuel costs, C-Dragons hull form has been optimised by FutureShip, GLs consulting subsidiary.
This optimisation and a reduced design speed delivers an efficiency rating for existing ships (EEDI) value, lower than the IMO reference line for 2025, and fuel consumption 30 per cent lower than that of the slow-steaming 4,250 Panamax existing reference vessel.
Furthermore, the wide beam hull adopted enables lower speeds and in most operating conditions eliminates the need for ballast water.
"With zero ballast water usage, C-Dragon offers best-in-class deadweight tonnage utilisation and outstanding cargo intake. For each TEU at 14 tons, it only needs 14.8 tons deadweight, almost four tons less than the current 4,250 TEU panamax design, an additional potential for greater earnings." said GL.