Friday, June 20, 2014

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High cube 40-foot containers on the rise

High cube 40-foot containers comprised almost 50 percent of the seaborne container fleet by the end of 2013, as standard 40-foot equipment declined, according to the recent Container Census report by Drewry Maritime Research.

The report said the fleet of maritime 40-foot high cube containers grew by over 7 percent in 2013, at a much faster rate than the global container fleet, which grew at a rate of 4.3 percent.

"Gains made in the maritime standard fleet came wholly at the expense of standard 40-foot equipment, whose count continued to decline, although the 20-foot 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 the pace of 5.3 percent, but in line with the 5-year average of 4 percent, Drewry said. 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.

Drewry does not expect global box production to increase much over the short term, after a decade in which the annual production rate has remained steady at approximately three million TEUs per year.

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