Demand for car carriers is on the increase, partly through overall volume growth but, significantly, through the emergence of more complex supply chains. This Report from Drewry Shipping Consultants analyses the current state of play in the car carrier sector - an area which attracts interest well beyond its immediate confines.
The current purpose built pure car (PCC) and pure car/truck carriers (PCTC) fleet amounts to around 380 ships with a collective capacity of around 1.5 million car equivalent units (ceu). The average size of the fleet has been increasing - the largest tranche lies in the 4-4,999 ceu range - although most of the recent expansion has been of 5,000+ ceu - with a number of vessels exceeding 6,000 ceu. However, a critical element is that the fleet contains a sizeable tranche of early 1980s built tonnage, which is due for replacement. Opinion is divided on whether the new ships should continue to seek scale economies and focus on 6,000+ ceu types - or whether the future make up of the car industry dictates another direction. A fundamental issue - which is still to be resolved - is the level of acceptance among car manufacturers of shipping transshipment operations.
The answer lies with evolving considerations in the logistics field - and this provides a major element of the analysis contained in "Market Outlook for Car Carriers: New Opportunities in a New Millennium".