HALF of the maritime container 40-footer high cube boxes these days surpassed the number of standard FEUs in 2013, according to London's Drewry Maritime Research.
The overall fleet of maritime 40-foot high cube containers grew seven per cent last year, a much faster pace than the global container fleet whose growth was limited to 4.3 per cent.
"Gains made in the maritime standard fleet came wholly at the expense of standard 40-foot equipment, whose count continued to decline, although the 20-foot share held stable at about a third," said Drewry's Andrew Foxcroft.
"These long-term changes in the fleet composition are predicted to continue through 2014-17."
Growth in the overall container equipment fleet was slower in 2013 than in 2012, when it grew by 5.3 per cent. But that was still in line with the five-year average of four per cent.
Before 2009 annualised fleet growth had been double this figure, indicating the impact of weaker trade growth and shipping line efficiency gains on overall equipment demand.
Global box production is not expected to increase much over the short term, following a decade in which the underlying rate of annual production has changed little at three million TEU annually.
Source : HKSG.