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Global surplus containers will be up to 13 million TEU in 2023

Recently, the global maritime consulting firm Sea-Intelligence released a global container analysis report. According to the report, over the past two years, global supply chain congestion has led to significantly longer transit times, mainly due to congestion and delays in ocean and inland transport.




Sea-Intelligence analysis said that when the supply chain is blocked, more containers are needed to meet the transportation demand, because the circulation efficiency of each container is reduced. But it also means that once the supply chain normalizes, the market will release a lot of excess containers. To quantify this, Sea-Intelligence investigated and analysed possible container gluts around the world using data from Hapag-Lloyd over an extended period of time, using data from Hapag-Lloyd as a sample.


The relevant person in charge of Sea-Intelligence explained that as a large global liner company, Hapag-Lloyds data is representative to a certain extent, and can reflect the situation of other large liner companies to a certain extent, and then can predict the global container supply situation.



According to the data analysis, Sea-Intelligence said that taking the first quarter of 2022 as an example, under normal circumstances, Hapag-Lloyd needs more than 3 million TEU of containers, and its existing container volume is much higher than this figure. This also means that Hapag-Lloyd will have 17% of its existing containers idle. If this is the reference, the number of containers required in the global market will also be reduced by 17% compared with the current one, that is, 17% of the world's containers will be idle.


Sea-Intelligence data shows that in 2021, the global container volume will be 50 million TEU, and the 17% idle rate is equivalent to a container surplus of 8.5 million TEU. If adding the 4.5 million to 4.8 million TEU of new containers delivered in 2022, it is estimated that by 2023, there will be a surplus of 13 million TEU of containers worldwide.



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