In this fast-moving world, flexibility and efficiency are key.
On-going globalisation is creating new challenges for logistics companies,” says Kai Kraass, Chief Operating Officer at WWL.
“In such a volatile world, flexibility and efficiency are absolutely crucial. This is why we’re enhancing our fleet, focusing on two vessel types that will enable us to deliver the most reliable, sustainable ocean service on the market.”
At the height of the recession, WWL was quick to adjust its capacity, taking 19 vessels out of circulation and into cold lay-up. Half of them were subsequently recycled in order to make room for the next generation of vessels – the brand-new Mark V and the state-of-the-art LCTC (Large Car and Truck Carrier).
WWL worked closely with the shipyards to design these vessel types, both of which have been custom made to exceed industry standards in terms of size, length and capacity, as well as flexibility and fuel efficiency. By the end of 2012, WWL will have received four Mark Vs and seven LCTCs.
The vessels are being deployed in WWL’s round-the-world liner service. This service operates according to a fixed schedule, while seeking to optimise in-port turnaround times and vessel speeds, thereby creating a service that is both sustainable and reliable.
“Our customers – many of whom are world leaders in areas such as process and supply-chain optimisation – expect to be able both to plan and to respond quickly to a changing market,” adds Kraass.
“We’ve learned so many valuable lessons from our customers, and these vessels and operating patterns are some of the ways in which we’re responding to their expectations. They will enable us not only to build more flexibility into our product but also to create a round-the-world liner service that is second to none in terms of reliability and transparency.”
The rejuvenation process will not end here. Kraass reveals that work is already underway to design a prototype for the next generation of vessel, scheduled for introduction in 2014-2015.
“The urgent need to reduce fuel consumption even further will require us to change the way ships are designed, ” he says. “I think we can safely say that the next generation of vessels will look very different from anything we’ve seen before. ”