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Shipping Container Market Outlook: 2023


Global shipping container market size was valued at $8,705 million in 2015, and is expected to reach $12,083 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2017 to 2023. A shipping container is a container with strength suitable to withstand shipment, storage, and handling. These containers range from large reusable steel boxes used for intermodal shipments to the ubiquitous corrugated boxes. The containers are a means to bundle cargo and goods into large unitized loads, easily handled, moved, and stacked, and can be tightly packed in a ship or yard-similar to cardboard boxes and pallets. They are generally made up of aluminum and steel. The size and type built of each container comply with specifications and regulations formulated by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

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China entered into the shipping container manufacturing in 1980 with the formation of CIMC in Shenzhen, China, but only gained its greatest momentum beginning in 1993. Not only was Chinas low cost of labor an issue, but was also becoming the largest producer and recycler of steel. Till 1995, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and most of Europe were producing their shipping containers in Mainland China. Since 1996, CIMC is the largest manufacturer of ISO containers in the world, and by 2007 China produced 82% of the entire world supply of ISO shipping containers. Now, there are many small companies in China that fabricate the ISO certified containers.

Improvement in transportation services, growth of seaborne trade, and rise in number of manufacturing facilities are major factors that are driving the growth of the container shipping industry. China is the largest producer of shipping containers in the world in terms of volume and is expected to maintain its position in the forecast period as well. It is attributed to the availability of low cost labor in China and rise in demand for efficient transportation modules across the globe. Implementation of development programs by government organizations further fuels the growth of the global container market. Moreover, the decline in global oil prices results in cost savings, due to which shipping companies invest in the purchase of new shipping containers globally. Also, variation in prices of steel affects the average selling price of these containers. However, slower economic growth in countries such as China and certain European countries is expected to hinder the global shipping container market during the forecast period.

The market segmentation is based on size of container, product type, and geography. The size of container segment is further classified into small containers (20 feet), large containers (40 feet), and high cube containers (40 feet). The product type segment is bifurcated into dry storage container, flat rack container, refrigerated container, special purpose container, and others. Geographically, the shipping container market is analyzed across North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico), Europe (Germany, France, Italy, UK, The Netherlands, and rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and rest of Asia-Pacific), and LAMEA (Latin America, Middle East, and Africa).

Shipping Container Market Segmentation