Very big ships – level 3

16-09-2021 07:00

When the Ever Given became stuck in the Suez Canal in March 2021, holding up nearly 200,000 tons of cargo from fresh fruits and vegetables to IKEA furniture, people realized the huge size of these megaships.

Megaships that now dominate container shipping have been growing in size for more than 50 years, and even doubling in capacity every few years since the 2000s. The bigger they grow, the more containers they carry, and the cheaper the transportation costs for each container. However, they cause problems for consumers and producers, too.

Megaships need places to dock, deeper water channels, stronger quay walls, and larger equipment. These are expensive adaptations for many ports that are publicly owned. Another problem is the increased risk to the goods that megaships carry because they go slower than other ships. The losses of cargo are increasing every year, and on top of that, megaships are also a bigger target for piracy and cybercrime.

Difficult words: dominate (to be the biggest or strongest), quay (a platform where ships can load and unload their goods), cybercrime (crimes done with a computer or the Internet).

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