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Container Leasing Industry Regains Market Share, Study Says

Nov.30--The global container leasing industry regained market share last year and in the first half of 2011 that it had lost earlier in the decade to ocean carriers, according to Drewry Maritime Research.

Container leasing companies ordered a record number of new containers in the period as they rushed to fill the gap caused by a surge in demand. The pent of demand was created after there was virtually no production in 2009, largely because shipping lines were strapped for cash to buy equipment, according to Drewry’s Container Leasing Industry 2012 – Annual Review and Forecast.

“The container leasing industry invested in a record number of new containers during 2010 and also strongly in 2011, despite the second-half downturn, taking almost the majority of all production carried out in the two-year period,” said Andrew Foxcroft, the report’s author and a consultant to Drewry. 

The container leasing industry regained some of the market share lost, in ownership terms, during the preceding 2004-08 period. In those years, shipping lines were better financed and so able to invest in their owned fleets more aggressively.

Looking forward, many shipping lines are likely to remain as dependent on leasing as they are on buying owned equipment. 
The new-for-old replacement cost of global leased container fleet surged in 2010-11 to a new high of almost $40 billion.

The reefer and tank container leasing sectors have also performed strongly during 2010-11, suffering less of a downturn than dry freight later in 2011. Further robust growth is being forecast for both sectors from 2012-15 on the back of strong forward demand in these specialist sectors.

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