6m TEU Surplus Containers Manageable

Stack of shipping containers
Updated Published

According to Drewry’s Container Census & Leasing Annual Review & Forecast 2022/23 report, the global pool of shipping containers increased by 13%, nearly 50m TEU in 2021. Three times before the growth trend.

This showed lessors and ocean carriers ordering a record number of containers, as fewer deteriorating units, as global  congestion supply chains signified containers were 15% to 20% less productive than before COVID.

Each container averaged 18.1 lifts in 2021 compared with 19.2 in 2020 and between 19.5 and 20.6 in the 2010s, Drewry estimated.

Furthermore, the amount of containers per slot of vessel capacity increased by 8% two years ago. This was when the pandemic began and remained at this level all around 2021.

Drewry also estimated as many as 6m teu of surplus containers currently exist in the global pool; the industry finds the surplus to be manageable by historic standards“

The delivery schedule of new ships is very strong with slot capacity expected to increase by 3.6m teu in 2023 and by over 3.9m teu in 2024,” said Drewry head of container equipment research John Fossey.

“With new IMO emissions regulations coming into force in January 2023 forcing some ships to sail slower, much of the surplus equipment currently in service is expected to be absorbed. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that some carriers are planning to have more buffer stock in their equipment pools, while fewer new containers will be built in the next two years.”

“Looking ahead, ocean carriers will be the main buyers of equipment over the next two years with lessors then taking control again, raising their share of the pool to 54% by 2026.” added John Fossey.

“Moreover, per diem rates and investment cash returns will generally be higher over the forecast period than in the past five years.”