Container Fleet Market Size, Share, and Trends 2024 to 2033

Container Fleet Market (By Type: Dry Container, Reefer Container, Tank Container, Special Container, By Application: Automotive, Oil and Gas, Food, Mining and Minerals, Agriculture, Others,) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, Regional Outlook, and Forecast 2024-2033

  • Last Updated : May 2024
  • Report Code : 4318
  • Category : Transport and Logistics

Container Fleet Market Size and Growth 2024 to 2033

The global container fleet market size was valued at USD 12.64 billion in 2023 and is anticipated to reach around USD 21.96 billion by 2033, growing at a CAGR of 5.69% from 2024 to 2033.

Container Fleet Market Size 2024 to 2033

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Container Fleet Market Key Takeaways

  • Asia Pacific held the dominant share of the container fleet market in 2023.
  • North America is observed to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period.
  • By type, the dry container segment accounted for the dominating share in 2023.
  • By type, the reefer container segment is expected to witness a significant share during the forecast period.
  • By application, the oil and gas segment held the largest share of the container fleet market in 2023.
  • By application, the food segment is expected to grow fastest during the forecast period.

Container Fleet Market Overview

A container fleet refers to a collection of standardized containers used for shipping goods by sea. The container fleet plays a crucial role in global trade and allows the efficient movement of goods between producers and consumers worldwide. These containers are generally made of steel, come in standardized sizes, and enable seamless transporting of goods. Container fleet finds various applications in mining and minerals, automotive, oil, gas, and chemicals, food and agriculture, retail, and other industries. The market is experiencing the rising use of fleet management techniques to reduce risk, track the fleet, improve operational productivity, and control expenses.

  • According to the data published in ITCO’s 2023 Global Tank Container Fleet Survey, the International Tank Container Organisation has published its 11th Annual Tank Container Fleet Survey. The survey estimated that on 1 January 2023, the global tank container fleet had reached 801,800 units worldwide, compared to 737,935 on 1 January 2022, a year-on-year growth of 8.65%.
  • According to this year’s ITCO Survey, a total of 67,865 tank containers were built in 2022, compared to 53,285 new units in 2021- an increase of some 14,580 units.
  • According to Niels Rasmussen, Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO, in 2023, shipyards delivered 350 new container ships with a total capacity of 2.2 million TEU, beating the previous record from 2015 when 1.7 million TEU was delivered. In 2024, 478 container ships with a capacity of 3.1 million TEU are scheduled for delivery, beating the 2023 record by 41%.

Container Fleet Market Growth Factors

  • The rapid globalization, rapid industrialization, and economic growth in emerging markets are observed to promote the market’s growth in the coming years.
  • The rapid infrastructure development at ports and the prevailing trends in containerization worldwide are majorly boosting the container fleet market’s expansion during the forecast period.
  • The growing activities of automotive, mining & minerals, chemicals, agriculture, food, and Oil & Gas industries are expected to accelerate the market’s revenue in the coming years.
  • The increase in the use of high-capacity vessels or ships reduces the cost of containers as it assists in storing more containers at a time, which is anticipated to drive the market’s growth.
  • The rising global reliance on reefer cargo shipping for perishable food products is projected to fuel the container fleet market during the forecast period.
  • Technological innovations including automation in port operations, containers equipped with IoT sensors, and rapid advancements in ship design for better fuel efficiency, are likely to support the market’s growth during the forecast period.

Container Fleet Market Scope

Report Coverage Details
Growth Rate from 2024 to 2033 CAGR of 5.69%
Container Fleet Market Size in 2023 USD 12.64 Billion
Container Fleet Market Size in 2024 USD 13.36 Billion
Container Fleet Market Size by 2033 USD 21.96 Billion
Largest Market Asia Pacific
Base Year 2023
Forecast Period 2024 to 2033
Segments Covered By Type and By Application
Regions Covered North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa


Container Fleet Market Dynamics

Driver: Rapid growth in global trade

The expansion of global trade is expected to propel the growth of the container fleet market during the forecast period. The rise in international trade volumes driven by globalization, economic growth, and the robust growth of e-commerce is anticipated to accelerate the demand for containerized shipping services. The rise of trade agreements between different countries, which require reliable shipping solutions to transport goods across borders is also likely to stimulate the growth of container fleet activities. Containerization can standardize cargo transport and enable seamless handling across various modes of transportation. In addition, the tank container industry has grown significantly to the rising global demand for bulk liquid and liquified gas transport.

Restraint: High cost

The high cost is projected to hamper the growth of the container fleet market. The high capital investment involved with these containers often results in lower export and import activities. The high cost is involved in manufacturing, maintaining, and upgrading shipping containers. In addition, stringent government regulations are likely to limit the expansion of the global container fleet market during the forecast period.

Opportunity: Advancement in technology

The continuous advancements in technology are projected to offer a lucrative opportunity for the growth of the container fleet market during the forecast period. Ensuring containers are in the right place at the right time to meet customer demands and optimizing routes to minimize empty container movements increases the need to deploy advanced technology including GPS tracking, smart IoT sensors, and data analytics, which has significantly assisted in effective management of container fleets, and facilitating firms to track containers in real-time, improving safety, predict maintenance needs, and optimize routes.

  • Moreover, the rapid adoption of technology helps to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions as well as ensuring the seamless flow of goods in global trade with reduced costs for both shipping companies and their customers. Thereby, driving the growth of the container fleet market.
  • In April 2024, Hapag-Lloyd announced the launch of real-time container tracking on most of its nearly 3 million-strong fleet, becoming the first container shipping line to introduce a fleet-wide dry container tracking product. With “Live Position”, Hapag-Lloyd customers can now track their shipments from their origin until arrival at the destination.

Type Insights

The dry containers segment accounted for the dominating share in the container fleet market in 2023. Dry container is a freight container that is enclosed and weatherproof, with a rigid roof, side walls, and floor. It is well suited for the transport of a large variation of cargoes. Dry containers facilitate the transportation of a wide range of dry cargo which includes electronics, textiles, and manufactured goods. Dry containers are most commonly used to transport different types of dry goods and they are packed in cartons, cases, bags, boxes, bales, pallets, and others.

  • In November 2022, ORBCOMM Inc., a global provider of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, announced that it is leveraging its latest telematics technology to provide end-to-end monitoring for dry marine containers moving through complex supply chains around the world. ORBCOMM’s new CT 1000 solution, which is expected to be commercially available in early 2023, digitalizes global container shipping, providing visibility and traceability for shipping lines and their customers so they can turn real-time data into decisions about their maritime operations.

The reefer containers segment is expected to witness a significant share during the forecast period. Reefer containers are ideal and are used for goods that require to be temperature-controlled during shipping. Reefer containers are equipped with an advanced refrigeration unit that is connected to the power supply on board the ship. All standard reefer containers are built to maintain a temperature between +25° C and -25° C for chilled and frozen cargo. Fresh fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy products, meat, fish (frozen or fresh), pharmaceuticals, juice, chocolate, and others are most commonly transported in refrigerated containers. They are engineered to maintain the humidity, temperature, and atmosphere of the container at a constant value during the whole transit period. Such factors boost the segment’s growth.

  • In February 2024, WEC Lines enters the refrigerated container market by adding 45ft reefer containers to its container fleet. WEC Lines is entering the refrigerated container market by adding the first batch of 50 brand new 45ft High-Cube Pallet-Wide refrigerated container (reefer) units to its extensive container fleet, solidifying its commitment towards providing comprehensive transport solutions to meet client demand. The carrier says the demand for reefer containers has been rising steadily across various industries, including food & beverage, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare, driven by the need for reliable and secure transport of temperature-sensitive goods.

Application Insights

The oil and gas segment held the largest share of the container fleet market in 2023 owing to the increasing applications of the oil and gas industry. Containers are extensively used for transporting oil and gases across cross border. Specialized tank containers are used for transporting expensive chemicals, liquid petroleum products, and gases safely across different regions. On the other hand, the food segment is expected to grow fastest during the forecast period. Containers are employed for transporting perishable and non-perishable food products such as vegetables, fruits, meat, poultry, seafood, grains, beverages, packaged goods, and dairy products. Reefer containers are best suited for transporting food products as it is designed to maintain consistent temperature and humidity levels to preserve the freshness and quality of food products throughout the journey.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific held the dominant share of the container fleet market in 2023. The region is observed to witness prolific growth during the forecast period. Factors such as rapid infrastructure development at ports, increasing demand for cargo transportation, globalization of supply chains, stringent rules and reforms of government associations about shipment procedures, the introduction of larger vessels and mega container ships, technological innovation, high demand for intermodal transportation, and economic growth in emerging markets are expected to contribute towards the growth of the market in the region.

The rise in refrigerated cargo containers is anticipated to boost the growth of the container fleet market in the region due to the increasing demand for transporting fruits, meat, medicines, and fresh vegetables, as well as maintaining their temperature to reduce the risk of damage. Additionally, the rising industrial activities have enhanced significant operations across retail, oil and chemicals, automobile, agriculture, mining, and other industries, which has propelled the demand for the container fleet.

Container Fleet Market Share, By Region, 2023 (%)

North America is observed to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. The growth of the region is attributed to the rise in global trade, increasing investment in infrastructure development, rapid urbanization, adoption of advanced technology, an increase in intermodal freight transportation, and growing demand for refrigerated sea transportation. The United States and Canada are the economic powerhouses of the region. The rising activities of the automotive and oil and gas sectors usually have a high dependency on containerized transportation for facilitating smooth international and domestic trade.

  • In May 2024, the Chinese Shipper announced the launch of an All-Electric Container Vessel with a 50MWh battery. The world’s biggest electric container ship is about to go into service between Shanghai and Nanjing, China, powered by a mammoth 50 megawatt-hour battery.

Container Fleet Market Recent Developments

  • In September 2023, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. entered into a strategic partnership with Hamburger Hafen und Logistik Aktiengesellschaft (HHLA). MSC intends to acquire all free-floating A-Shares of HHLA and announced its intention to launch a voluntary public takeover offer.
  • In May 2024, Thenamaris is the latest Greek shipping company to confirm its implementation of the Starlink connectivity service onboard its ships, in collaboration with its satcom service provider Navarino. Thenamaris operates a fleet of 47 tankers, 25 bulk carriers, 8 LNG carriers and 7 LPG carriers, and plans to deploy the LEO service across the majority of these vessels, alongside its existing satcoms.
  • In April 2023, Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd. launched ONE Eco Calculator. It calculates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from ONE’s operating vessels.

Container Fleet Market Companies

  • China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited
  • CMA CGM S.A.
  • Evergreen Marine Corporation
  • Hapag-Lloyd AG
  • Matson Inc.
  • MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.
  • Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd.
  • Orient Overseas Container Line Limited
  • Pacific International Lines Pte. Ltd.
  • Unifeeder A/S (DP World)
  • Wan Hai Lines Ltd.
  • Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation
  • ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (Kenon Holdings Ltd)
  • Maersk
  • Mitsui O.S.K
  • Orient Overseas Container Line
  • HYUNDAI Merchant Marine Co. Ltd.
  • A.P. Moller - Maersk AS
  • Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd.
  • China COSCO SHIPPING Corp. Ltd.

Segments Covered in the Report

By Type

  • Dry Container
  • Reefer Container
  • Tank Container
  • Special Container

By Application

  • Automotive
  • Oil and Gas
  • Food
  • Mining and Minerals
  • Agriculture
  • Others

By Geography

  • North America
  • Asia Pacific
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

The global container fleet market size is expected to increase USD 21.96 billion by 2033 from USD 12.64 billion in 2023.

The global container fleet market will register growth rate of 5.69% between 2024 and 2033.

The major players operating in the container fleet market are China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited, CMA CGM S.A., Evergreen Marine Corporation, Hapag-Lloyd AG, Matson Inc., MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A., Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd., Orient Overseas Container Line Limited, Pacific International Lines Pte. Ltd., Unifeeder A/S (DP World), Wan Hai Lines Ltd., Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (Kenon Holdings Ltd), Maersk, CMA CGM, and Others.

The driving factors of the container fleet market are the growing activities of automotive and increase in the use of high-capacity vessels or ships.

Asia Pacific region will lead the global container fleet market during the forecast period 2024 to 2033.

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