Shipping container producers are doing their best to meet the increasing demand from carriers, but there is still a shortage for shipping. The scarcity occurred in the second half of last year, when world trade picked up sharply. Before the coronavirus crisis, there was still a surplus of new sea containers.
In addition, there were almost no orders placed in the first five months of 2020. Container carriers expected world trade to collapse further due to the pandemic. Chinese manufacturers, which account for 90 percent of the world’s stock, reduced production. Because of the tightness they now make many more. In September, 300,000 new containers were produced and that number increased to 440,000 in January.
According to experts, the shortage of containers and subsequent congestion in, among other things, US ports could persist until the second half of 2021. “There should be enough containers to meet the demand under normal conditions,” says an analyst at Drewry Maritime research firm in London.
“The problem is that the use of containers has become longer due to all the delays. That means it takes longer to pass them on to the next customer.”