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PUBLISHER: The Load Star (

With the pressure on equipment capacity showing no sign of abating, freight forwarders are increasingly turning to “shipper-owned containers (SOCs)” to minimise the risk associated with port congestion and potential penalties, amid Covid-induced supply chain dysfunction.

A study by Container xChange, a digital platform for equipment management, has found that the level of the top 50 forwarders accepting SOC requests had risen sequentially from 6% in 2019 to 18 % in 2021, a three-fold change.

SOCs are the units typically placed by a shipper with the container line for cargo booked by them directly, or through a forwarding agent. These boxes come in the form of outright ownerships or leased arrangements.

“18% of the companies that were tested were able to organise the SOC move and source the containers without any restrictions,” Container xChange said. This figure was 10% in its 2020 survey.

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