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The World’s Incredible Dependence on Chinese Containers

On October 18, 2021, the French newspaper Les Echos published an article entitled, “The World’s Incredible Dependence on Chinese Containers.” The article pointed out that the global container industry is heavily dependent on China and almost all container boxes are made in China. China produces more than 96 percent of the world’s dry cargo containers, 100 percent of the world’s refrigerated containers and more than 90 percent of tank containers. The shortage of containers is one of the main bottlenecks affecting maritime cargo transportation and global supply chains.

In the Spring of this year, the purchase price of the popular 40-foot container on the market exceeded US$6,500,  which is double the price from a year ago and reached the highest point since 1998. The prices of refrigerated containers and tank containers are also on the rise. According to Eurotainer, the world’s leading tank container leasing company, within one year, the purchase price of tank containers has risen from US$13,000 to US$21,000.

Drewry, a maritime research and consulting firm, said the first six months of this year saw China’s dry container production jump 235 percent year-on-year to 3 million 20-foot equivalent units. Manufacturers’ order books are full and delivery times are getting longer and longer. Driven by this strong demand, the container manufacturer China International Marine Containers Co. (CIMC) achieved a net profit of 4.39 billion yuan (600 million euros) in the first half of this year, an increase of 1,739 percent over the same period last year.

Source: Radio France International, October 18, 2021