Shipping experts warn against massive cargo ships

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VANCOUVER, B.C. — Shipping experts around the world are warning that the construction of a new fleet of super-sized, high-speed container ships could lead to disaster.

The new ships, which could carry as many as 15,000 containers of goods, are being touted as a revolutionary shipping method that will change the face of global shipping. But if one of those ships should sink, experts say the global economy would suffer.

“The potential for major economic, environmental or human life disaster is immense,” writes shipping consultant Heinz Gohlish in the latest issue of Maritime Affairs. “If the prospect of (a super-size) container ship with a combined ship/cargo value exceeding $1 billion, hurtling across the North Atlantic at 35 knots strikes terror in your heart, it should.”

Port of Vancouver harbormaster, Chris Badger, told local media that the Vancouver Port is well equipped to handle the big ships when they finally set sail. But more maritime experts are sounding alarms that the ships are “too big” and that an accident would have disastrous consequences and would result in insurance companies being unwilling to insure the cargo.

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