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PUBLISHER: The Load Star (www.theloadstar.co.za)

A record 7.2m teu, or 14%, was added to the global container equipment fleet last year, taking it to 50.5m teu, driven by demand from ocean carriers, logistics operators and BCOs trying to protect their supply chains.

According to John Fossey, senior analyst for container equipment at Drewry Shipping Consultants, equipment production will fall to between 4.5m and 4.8m TEU this year – but this will still rank as the second-highest annual increase on record.

“The demand for equipment remains strong as the recovery from Covid-19 continues. We see continuing growth in the perishable products sector, beverages and the bulk chemical and liquids markets, which will drive demand for both reefers and tank containers,” said Mr Fossey.

“And there is still the big issue of availability, and the overall productivity of containers. It is taking much longer for boxes to complete their journeys and be returned to the areas of demand.”

Other factors that were influencing new orders, added Mr Fossey, included the need to retire ageing equipment kept in service longer than the normal 12 to 15-year life cycle, the demand from ocean carriers “flush with cash” to build more buffer in their pools, and other transport operators and BCOs that have decided to operate with their own fleet of boxes.

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