Why the Shipping Container Crisis Won’t End Anytime Soon and Why You Should Consider Getting Second Hand Containers Instead

Freight shipping is in the midst of a unique predicament due to a shortage of shipping container. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that spread out from Asia, as the epicentre, countries all over the world implemented lockdowns at its peak. This caused production and supply to be put to a halt as many factories had to shut down temporarily. As such, many containers were stuck at ports. Carriers also reduced the number of vessels out at sea in order to stabilise costs, which meant that many empty containers were not picked up. Especially since many of the factories and producers are located in Asia, they faced a problem where they could not retrieve empty containers from North America. 

shipping container, shipping container crisis

However, China bounced back and resumed exports soon after while other countries in the world were still facing compromised production and restrictions. This led to almost all of the remaining containers in Asia to be sent out to Europe and North America but the containers were not returned fast enough due to massive disruptions in the workforce caused by the coronavirus restrictions. Containers piled up; 60 out of every 100 containers are accumulated but the shipping volume from Asia is not slowing down and there is no sign of recovery for the worldwide container shortage crisis. This is a problem because the lack of containers affects the entire supply chain. Trade is disrupted on a global level.

This problem of container shortages is not an easy one, as top shipping and ports industry executives and analysts warned at the end of 2021 that the crisis may last another year. The world’s largest container shipping containers have even given out contracts to build new container vessels. Some relief can be expected in February when factories across China will shut down for the Chinese New Year. This will slow down the flow of goods from China. However, the resurgence of the Omicron virus in many European nations could prolong the pain. Already, the world is entering the fifth wave of the coronavirus and one can only hope that the dozens of vessels waiting at ports to unload their cargo in India, China and Asia will be minimum. 

shipping container, shipping container crisis

Increasing the stock of containers and improving their availability to exporters cannot be the only solution to ease the crisis. Adjustments have to be made to the entire supply line to support workers, truck drivers and trade flows. 

Second Hand Shipping Container

shipping container, shipping container crisis, cargo container

However, one possible option to help resolve this problem is to purchase second hand shipping containers. 

Reefer Containers

Used reefer containers are often ideal for use as storage containers. They are typically more affordable than a new container. In general, the age of the container affects the condition of the containers. More expensive reefer containers are usually 8 to 10 years old while older ones may not be as wind or watertight and hence cost less. Depending on what it will be used for, reefer containers can be modified to be used in a variety of ways, such as for cold storage container.

High Cube Containers

On top of that there are other types of containers, such as high cube containers. High cube containers have an extra foot in height more than general purpose containers and is most ideally used for light, voluminous cargo or bulky cargo. They come in 40 feet and 45 feet sizes in steel. High cube containers are perfect for modifications because of their size and can be easily converted into offices or homes due to their higher ceiling structures which allow for better air circulation and better comfort for occupants. 

Small Shipping Containers

Small size shipping containers are typically 6 feet, 8 feet or 10 feet. Small shipping containers can be used at residential premises for keeping equipment or can be used as small portable workshops. They are also ideal for construction sites where there are restrictions in space. 

When shipping containers are repurposed, not only does it help the environment by preventing the use of more wasteful materials and reducing carbon footprint, it also can help to ease the shipping container crisis. Although more needs to be done to ease the shipping container crisis, getting second hand containers is a big step forward in helping with the worldwide shipping container crisis. There are many functions that second hand containers have and how they can be used is determined based on one’s needs and limited by one’s imagination. 

If you would like to buy/rent container/shipping containers, explore the feasibility of using repurposed shipping containers for your premises, feel free to speak to us today.


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