High cube 40-foot containers are stealing a march on traditional 40-foot equipment and by the end of 2013 represented just short of 50% of the maritime container fleet, according to Drewry’s recently published Container Census report.
The overall fleet of maritime 40-foot high cube containers grew by more than 7% in 2013, a much faster pace than the global container fleet whose growth was limited to just 4.3%.
“Gains made in the maritime standard fleet came wholly at the expense of standard 40-foot equipment, whose count continued to decline, although the 20ft share held stable at about a third,” said Andrew Foxcroft, editor of Drewry’s Container Census report. “These long-term changes in the fleet composition are predicted to continue through 2014-17.”
Growth in the overall container equipment fleet was slower in 2013 than in 2012, when it grew at a racier 5.3%, but in line with the five-year average of 4%. Prior to 2009 annualized fleet growth had been double this figure, indicating the impact of weaker trade growth and liner efficiency gains on overall equipment demand.
Global box production is not expected to increase much over the short term, following a decade in which the underlying rate of annual production has changed little at around three million teu a year.