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Global container production falls as demand for goods sinks

Global production of shipping containers has fallen significantly as demand for goods sank following the easing of pandemic restrictions, leaving the corrugated steel boxes piled up at major ports.


Figures provided to the Financial Times by Drewry, a maritime research consultancy, show that production of 20-foot equivalent units the industrys standard size for a container fell 71 per cent from 1.06mn to 306,000 between the first quarter of 2022 and the same period this year.


The decline marks a sharp reversal from two years ago, when container manufacturing boomed in response to a pandemic-induced surge in demand for physical goods which led to a shortage of the rectangular boxes.


However, demand for exports has waned since restrictions eased and economies have reopened, leaving the shipping industry with a surplus of containers that threatens to overwhelm ports in China, where up to 95 per cent of the worlds boxes are produced.


AP Møller-Maersk, one of the worlds largest shipping conglomerates, has said it is halting production of dry containers until at least 2024, though it said it might resume building 20ft boxes sooner than its larger 40ft versions as the demand for the former appeared to be more resilient.


Shenzhen Xunlaitong specializes in shipping export from Shenzhen to Australia & New Zealand, Germany, Netherlands and more business