The backbone of the worldwide fleet of merchant vessels for multipurpose/project & heavy lift transportation is the class of 12,500 deadweight tonnage (dwt) vessels with two cranes of more than 120 tons capacity. The most widely used type of vessel is the so-called F-Type, which goes back to a design of the former Beluga Reederei and was built by various shipyards in China in a total of 86 units. This series also forms the basis for the TOEPFER Multipurpose Shipping Index, which shows the current freight rates for this class on a monthly basis and sets the benchmark for the industry.
The design of the F-Type dates back to the late 1990s and construction of the series ceased over 10 years ago. Thus, the average age of the ships in the interim is already over 15 years. In the meantime, massive progress has been made in shipbuilding technology, which prompted the Briese Group to commission a newbuilding series, the F-500, in 2018. A similar ship design was also commissioned by the Dship shipping company.
In the meantime, three ships of this new series have already been delivered and various other projects are under construction or in the advanced planning phase.
In the design phase, the emphasis was placed on a massively higher utilization of the available space, combined with a massive increase in crane capacity. The former three holds were combined as far as legally permissible, so that a single solid hold was created, which is flexibly covered by a solid sliding hatch cover.
Through the installation of a modern two-stack engine with a new type of valve control and a massively improved ship’s hull in terms of glide technology, fuel consumption has been reduced by almost 40%. In addition, there is the possibility of retrofitting the ships with further exhaust gas cleaning systems when these technologies will have proven themselves in regular operation.
|Topic||Old Beluga "F-Type"||Briese "F-500" Type||Difference|
|Crane Capacity||average 2x150 Ton||2x250 Ton||+40%|
|Average Trading Speed||13 knots||15 knots||+13%
|Consumption (15Kn)||25 mt per day||15.7 mt per day||-40%|
|Total Hold Capacity||15'952 m3||17'600 m3||+9.5%|
|Deck-loading Capacity||1'480 m2||1'796 m2||+18%|
|Max. Pres. on Floors||16mt/m2||20mt/m2||+20%|
The above progress has been achieved without substantially increasing the external dimensions of the vessel. These significant productivity advances result in massively increased charter rates, which already allow owners to profitably recoup the investment over the long term.
In 2021, the International Maritime Organization will additionally calculate the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) for each active merchant ship, which will include rating classes A-E. It is expected that the F-Type will be in the “C” class, while the new F-500 will be in the “A” class. High classification is rewarded, for example, by priority port handling. In a time of faltering flows of goods – a decisive competitive advantage!