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Tuesday, October 16. 2007
Now you know how WalMart gets all its stuff from
Posted by Gwynnie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 04:33 | Comments (18) | Trackbacks (0)
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Fun Fact: This PS-class vessel travels 66 kilometers using 1 kWh of energy per ton of cargo. A jumbo jet travels half a kilometer using the same amount of energy per ton of cargo.
These ships leave Asia from the most efficient container ports in the world, having about twice the productivity of their American counterparts. The global industry wonders when we will catch up, since these are now the primary bottleneck.
But when we move these containers inland, the US gains some important efficiencies using these:
Skook, since a Nimitz Carrier @ 1040' long is 260' shorter, and @ 102,000 tons displaces 55,000 tons less than EM's 157,000 tons (and over 20,000 tons less than the 123,200 ton cargo capacity of Emma Maersk), could you literally ship a Nimitz Carrier aboard Emma Maersk?
Enquiring (AKA "idle") minds want to know.
The 'Land Bridge' in action. Intermodal is a big part of BNSF's business and has gotten bigger and better in the 29+ years I have been turning wrenches on the locomotives that pull (and now push-pull) them. Longer trains mean better efficiency and of course longer waits at railroad crossings. When I'm waiting for a train to pass I just think of my paycheck, so it's not so bad.
When I started, doublestack was the brand new thing. They were pioneered on the Southern Pacific, for APL I believe. In fact in the beginning I think we on BN used SP well cars. A very exciting time.
Let's be conservative and say the Emma Maersk carries 11,000 TEU, or Twenty foot Equivalent Units in normal service. That is 5,500 standard 40 ft containers. Each doublestack rail "car" is normally made up of 5 permanently attached platforms, with each platform carrying two 40 ft containers stacked two high. A full doublestack train is 28 such cars, though some trains may be smaller. So a full doublestack train carries 280 40 ft containers. Or to put it another way, if you discharge the Emma Maersk completely at one port and send all of its cargo inland via doublestack train, it would occupy 19.6 doublestack trains. And if it were completely loaded for its outbound journey via rail, it would take another 19.6 doublestack trains headed in to port to load the ship.
Rail capacity is one possible limiter on the growth of such vessels. For example, the BNSF Stevens Pass line over the Cascades links Seattle with Chicago. It contains a tunnel that must be flushed of diesel fumes between trains, which limits daily capacity to some 35-38 trains. So that line could only accommodate one Emma Maersk per day - if it didn't also move grain and lumber and coal and petrochemicals and Amtrak and everything else.
In reality, a ship like the Emma Maersk doesn't discharge all of her cargo at one port and it doesn't send all of that cargo inland from one port. Half of its cargo may be destined to, or originate, in Southern California. But we are starting to bump up against infrastructural capacity limitations, not only in the Cascades but also along the Columbia River to and from Portland, over the Sierras in and out of the San Francisco Bay area, and through urban Southern California and through the passes over the Southern California mountains and the canyons of Arizona. All these are being addressed by huge construction projects largely out of public view. We shall see if they are enough.
damn, skook --you sure know your transport nuts n bolts --who said railroads were anachronisms --not Warren Buffet, the Oracle of Omaha has been a-buyin' 'em hard.
Yes he has. BNSF in particular. In a nutshell, Union Pacific is struggling with long term capacity problems and he is counting on BNSF taking some of the traffic that UP can't handle. So he dumped UP in favor of BNSF. Ethanol and Powder River coal also favor the Western roads, again in particular BNSF.
When we start developing the energy resources of the middle of the continent in earnest, the railroads will be in hog heaven.
Jim --that's precisely why everyone should buy at least one share of an oil company stock--same principle--makes it easier to fill up with gasoline--
In particular coal and oil shales, even if the ethanol thing goes pfft.. And we think North American rail capacity is constrained now...
On the other side of the Pacific, China it goes without saying is building rail lines and superhighways and ports like there is no tomorrow... and much more quickly than we can.
China has roughly (can't recall exactly) 9 nuclear plants and 11 Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) mega-facilities, all under construction.
Now that they've trained, motivated, and made heros of the entire construction/engineering industry via Three Gorges, and with the Olympics coming, there's nothing in their way at all. No political problems at all.
They must look over here, and see us stymied for generations by stupid arguments from numbskull interest groups, and think "how sweet it is!"
"Now that they've trained, motivated, and made heroes of the entire construction/engineering industry via Three Gorges..."
Yup. Very important. They have Henry Kaisers a dime a dozen. Very important for a nation to develop such a culture and such an admiration and very consequential when that admiration disappears.
The merchant marines of Europe and America are in sad shape. Can't find anybody who wants a life at sea. The Chinese are also turning into the British of the 21st century so far as merchant shipping is concerned. Chinese guys sailing the oceans of the world, with nary a Brit or Yank to be found. I had a Chinese guy tell me once - "You build aircraft carriers. We build container ships."
yep--go-getters go get, alright. Say, re the coming shale oil boom, Jim Cramer had some short-lines he liked, a year or so ago. One was in Wyoming iirc, and there a couple others further west. I need to backtrack those suckers and see how they've done. They had some regulatory advantage over the interstate RRs, iirc.
aww geez guys--does this mean we are gonna get some really great passenger train service in the near future?
ap, you can bank on it, as oil prices rise into the future.
The Emma Maersk regularly sails through the Suez Canal. It is not deployed in the Asia to US Tradelane, it currently sails from Asia to Europe. It is only an 11,000 TEU vessel, and has 7 sister vessels of the same size. Check out www.maersk.com, and look under schedules, by vessel and look up the Emma Maersk. I can't believe no one checked the facts. This vessel can only go 25.5 knots as well. People are so gullible. And oh yeah, no Walmart cargo on this ship.