13 million boxes too much?
The transport time is the secret. The Copenhagen-based maritime consultancy Sea-Intelligence recently analysed the data provided by Hapag-Lloyd, looking at the development in both the size of the equipment fleet as well as the number of transported containers over the past twelve years - and how many full loads of cargo were moved per container in the equipment fleet.
CEO Alan Murphy summarised: "In 2010-2014, the effectiveness of the equipment fleet was relatively constant at 1.3 loads per container per quarter, followed by a lot of volatility."
While in 2018-2019 there was an average of 1.18 full loads per container, the decline in 2020-2022 led to 0.95 loads per container in Q1/2021-Q4, slightly improving to 0.98 in Q1/2022. In the end, if the supply chain bottlenecks were removed now, Hapag-Lloyd would need 17% fewer containers in its equipment fleet.
The global container fleet reached 50 million teu in 2021. If 17% of this capacity becomes redundant, this equals 8.5 million teu in excess equipment. With the 4.5 to 4.8 million additional teu to be delivered in 2022, the shipping industry will end up with 13 million teu of excess containers in 2023. (sh)