The world’s fleet of operationally leased containers rose annually by almost 11 percent throughout 2011 and 2012, according to a “Container Leasing 2013/14” report published by Drewry Maritime Research.
The report predicts a smaller 6.4 percent increase in global leased containers for 2013, in line with the poorer global trade forecast.
The strong fleet increase of 2011 and 2012 was evenly balanced between the two years, even though it did experience “some fluctuation,” according to the analysis. Fleet expansion was “unprecedented” in the first six months of 2011, when demand and pricing remained high, but subsequently declined throughout the remainder of the year, resulting from a buildup of new ships, which curtailed further investment, the report said. The analysis also showed a similar pattern in 2012, as growth was stronger in the first half of the year.
“The box lease industry still remains generally better placed than it was prior to the downturn in 2009,” said Andrew Foxcroft, editor of the report, in a written statement. “Before this watershed year, leasing companies had been losing out to the shipping industry’s own aggressive box procurement program, which resulted in a relatively weak and erratic growth rate for the rental fleet and steady loss in terms of its ownership share.”