Container Equipment Market Surges Ahead: Drewry

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 30, 2018

Graph: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

Graph: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

 The move towards container leasing and away from carrier ownership continues unabated and the leased fleet now has a clear majority over that owned by transport operators, according to the latest edition of the Container Census & Leasing and Equipment Insight published by global shipping consultancy Drewry.

Leasing companies accounted for 55% of container purchases in 2017, which continues the trend seen for most of this decade. With the fleet of containers owned by transport operators growing by a mere 2.4%, the leased fleet added 6.7% and the share owned by lessors is now nearing 52%. 
“Drewry expects this trend to continue over the next few years,” said Drewry’s director of research products Martin Dixon. “We estimate that the leased share of the fleet will reach 54% by 2020.” 
Container manufacturing staged a 55% rebound in 2017, with dry van building more than recovering from the 2016 slump as buyers responded to the rebound in the liner industry. CIMC consolidated its position by building 88% more boxes last year, while smaller builders such as Dong Fang (143%) and Maersk Container (118%) made even bigger inroads. And yet, despite the influx of new boxes, the average age of the fleet remained above 6.5 years for the second year running. 
Newbuild prices have been relatively stable – see above chart. They recovered quickly as demand returned last year and have been largely stable ever since. Some of the price increase was attributable to rising steel prices. Steel has been at the heart of the trade dispute between the US and China, so any escalation could push prices higher. 
“Geopolitical issues notwithstanding, we do not expect any significant change in newbuild prices over the next couple of years,” added Dixon. “However, prices of used containers have been rising steadily, although their future trajectory is harder to predict.”
Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jan 2019 - Ship Repair & Conversion: The Shipyards

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News