Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Ocean Cargo: Shortages of Containers Reaches “Crucial” Levels

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
June 22, 2010

The shortage of containers has reached critical levels, with lines blaming the shortage on “exceptional” high demand which developed since the Chinese New Year in February, noted analysts for Alphaliner.

According to the Paris-based container shipping consultancy, prices for new containers have soared to their highest levels in almost 20 years as both carriers and container leasing companies rush to place fresh orders to meet the new demand.

“The current price for 20-foot dry containers has reached $2,750/unit compared to less than $2,000/unit at the end of last year,” said an analyst in the report.

Even at these higher prices, demand will still outstrip supply for the current peak season. Container manufacturers are facing difficulties in restoring full capacity following the halt in production of dry containers since October 2008, the report stated.

Total capacity at the main container producers have been cut back significantly since late 2008, as production lines were shut and twin-shift operations re-duced to single shifts.

Although annual production capacity at the two largest container manufacturers, CIMC and Singamas, is over 3.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), these two sup- pliers are expected to produce only 1.35 million TEUs this year. The global output of new containers is estimated at 1.5-2.0 million TEUS for the full year, well down from the peak of 4.2 million TEUs produced in 2007 and a global capacity of 5 million boxes.

Meanwhile, demand has picked up significantly since the beginning of the year. CIMC is reporting sales of 102,900 TEU of dry van containers in the first quarter alone, compared to 60,400 TEU in the whole of 2009.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Coming off of 2014, which in many ways is viewed as a banner year for freight, it appears that some tailwinds have firmly kicked in, as 2015 enters its official homestretch, according to Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst at Parsons, and author of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual State of Logistics (SOL) Report at last week’s CSCMP Annual Conference in San Diego. The SOL report is sponsored by Penske Logistics.

The average price per gallon for diesel gasoline increased 1.6 cents to $2.492 per gallon, according to data issued by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) this week.

The planned $4.8 billion acquisition of Netherlands-based TNT-NV and a provider of mail and courier services and the fourth largest global parcel operator, by FedEx may be showing signs of coming closer to fruition, with TNT’s shareholders formally giving their blessing on the proposed deal.

Con-way Freight, the less-than-truckload (LTL) subsidiary of transportation and logistics service provider Con-way, recently announced it plans to implement a general rate increase for non-contractual freight, effective October 19.

The index ISM uses to measure non-manufacturing growth—known as the NMI—came in at 56.9 in September (a level of 50 or higher indicates growth), a 2.1 percent decrease from August’s 59.0, and 3.4 percent off from July’s 60.3, which is its highest reading since January 2008.

Article Topics

News · Ocean Freight · Shipping · All topics


Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA