Global Economy Faces New Challenge: Surplus of Empty Containers
Michael Mortorano | November 20th, 2022

Global Economy Faces New Challenge: Surplus of Empty Containers

For the past several months the main problem the shipping industry has faced has been a shortage of containers. The global economy now faces the exact opposite problem, a surplus of containers.

Market research shows that storage facilities used to store the containers after being unloaded are filling up at a concerning rate.

Leading analysts in the industry argue that the decrease in demand from global consumers is not a sign that the global economy is recovering after the post covid shopping spree but is instead a downward trend of consumer habits.

In a recent industry press briefing, Christian Roeloffs the CEO of the shipping platform xChange said “There simply is not enough space in the warehouses to accommodate all of the containers.” He also stated, “With the decommissioning of leased fleets, we expect even more pressure on the warehouses in the coming months.”

Andrea Monti the CEO of Italian company Sogese stated “The volume of containers in the warehouses has gone up so high that we started rejecting requests for warehouse services. Certain locations are unable to accept new customers.”

According to the national shipping manager at Sedgwick Darin Miller, ports like Houston have started charging fees for empty containers held for more than one week. “These containers are sometimes stranded for weeks, and the sheer number of them has left us with little warehouse space which only makes the supply chain crisis worse.”

The Drewry Composite World Container Index, which evaluates container prices, dropped to $2,773 for a 40-foot container, 73% less than what it was last September.