Enough containers for global trade – they're just in the wrong places

The global container availability crisis is unlikely to ease before the end of the year

Enough containers for global trade – they're just in the wrong places

The global container availability crisis is unlikely to ease before the end of the year – despite 2021 likely being a record-breaker in terms of new boxes delivered. According to John Fossey, senior analyst of container equipment at Drewry Shipping Consultants, around 1.4m TEUS of new containers were delivered in the first quarter, around 10% more than in the final quarter of last year and 21% more than in Q1 20.

 

“Based on current activity, we believe the full-year 2021 production could be more than 4.7m TEUS. That would be a record year for container production, beating the 4.42m TEUS produced in 2018 and 52% up on the 3.1m TEUS delivered last year,” he said. However, Mr Fossey argued this would be unlikely to put a dent in the acute equipment shortages experienced by many shippers and forwarders around the world.

 

“I’m afraid the shortages are likely to last until the end of the year, and the lack of containers is due to the carriers’ response to Covid – firstly, the initial blanking of voyages, followed by carriers deploying larger ships and extra loaders to cater for the unexpected demand, which created a vicious cycle of yard congestion in the ports. “In response to that congestion, carriers began to cut and run at ports – which meant not loading empties – and that only made the port congestion worse.”

 

Sources : Drewry / The Load Star