For the last decade the container shipping sector has been struggling through a slump in the global economy, as well as persistent overcapacity concerns. These challenges have caused profits to fall and industry leaders, like Hanjin Shipping, to collapse. Moreover, the weight of increased competition and ridiculously low freight rates has resulted in acquisitions, mergers, and partnerships between the leading container lines. This cooperative approach has been the industry’s savior and much of the reason the maritime shipping sector will experience favorable growth in the coming years.
With the “thinning out of the pack” and the subsequent drop in competition – resulting from the new alliances, the remaining container shipping lines have been able to reverse their previous losses and emerge profitable early in 2017. For many, the additional profits have been used to fund investment in shipping containers, buy new ships, and improve efficiency. The new additions, like reefer containers and 20,000 TEU vessels, are expected to improve the operational performance of their fleet and meet the expanding needs of their clients. Regardless of their motive for the investment, the move will ensure they can meet the demands and pressures of an expanding global economy.
Despite the struggles and obstacles they have experienced over the last (nearly) ten years, bigger profits are certainly on the horizon for container shippers. With further investment into ports, terminals, and infrastructure, operational savings will continue.to work in partnership with higher freight rates to ensure continued growth. This will translate into a stronger, more sustainable global economy.
The newfound prosperity in the container shipping industry has also opened doors for investors. Although it is not likely private investors will purchase a container ship, they do have the opportunity to invest in containers. With the help of a container leasing company, the investment community can purchase their own fleet of containers and lease them to manufacturing, shipping, and logistics companies. This allows investment-seekers to profit from the sector’s renewed vigor and strong growth.