The head of the world’s largest container leaser says shipping companies are adding more containers to their fleets this year.
At a conference in New York, John Maccarone, President and CEO of Textainer Group Holdings, said he expected shipping companies to add about 3.5 million containers to the world fleet this year compared with 2.4 million in 2010.
Maccarone said the supply of containers had more or less matched demand this year, which was partly because shipping lines had been holding on to, boxes longer than they had done in the past.
“Eventually, as these older containers begin to cost them a lot more in maintenance and repair, we will see a fleet renewal program,” he said.
“My personal feeling is that by the end of this year, or the beginning of next, many shipping lines will begin a significant program of getting rid of their very old containers and leasing or buying – but most likely leasing.”
Shipping lines are also using more containers as a result of the introduction of slow-steaming strategies to reduce operating costs, which, Maccarone said, required companies to have 5-7% more containers for the same cargo volumes.
Container lessors have benefited in the past year or two as demand outstripped supply, and, consequently boosted lease rates and prices for new and used containers.
Many shipping companies are leasing containers instead of buying as they rebuild their balance sheets after 2009, when container lines lost more than $15 billion.
Textainer claims to be the world’s largest seller of used containers, selling an average of 90,000 in each of the past two years to approximately 1,000 customers.
This post is also available in: Spanish