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Talk of phasing out 20ft shipping containers misplaced: Drewry

"Share of 20ft containers to remain above 25% of global container equipment fleet."

Talk of phasing out 20ft shipping containers misplaced: Drewry
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Following a contraction in output of newbuild 20ft shipping containers in 2021, ordering has recovered strongly this year, according to the latest update from Drewry Shipping Consultants.

"Contrary to popular opinion, Drewry expects its share of the global container equipment fleet to remain above 25 percent for the foreseeable future."

Although the standard 20ft dry freight container has seen its share of the global equipment pool decline over the past decade, Drewry believes its role in the fleet is secure.

"indeed, this year has seen production of the unit increase significantly with orders, particularly from ocean carriers. This will come as some relief to many beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) concerned at the limited availability of 20ft boxes over the past two years, which has led some to wonder if the equipment type might be on the way out."

Drewry reports that In the first eight months of the year, manufacturers based in China, which account for over 96% of global output, produced close to half a million TEU, up almost 64 percent YoY and 35 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2020.

Drewry expects output for the full year to total at least 900,000 TEU, up from just below 560,000 TEU in 2021.

In terms of buyers, transport operators, including ocean carriers, and traders were responsible for an estimated 72 percent of deliveries made in the January-August period of 2022 with the units needed for both replacement and expansion purposes.

"Demand for new 20ft containers for non-trading purposes, most notably in the static storage sector, remains robust as existing companies expand their operations and new players are attracted into the business."


Drewry expects the 20ft container's share of the fleet to remain stable over the next five years with the unit accounting for at least 26 percent of standard dry containers in service. "And given the upside potential, there is the prospect that this share will increase rather than decrease over the forecast period," the report said.

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