The 5 largest container importers in the world

The United States obtained the first position among the largest container importers in 2021, with purchases of 1,032 million dollars.

According to Triton International, the world’s largest lessor of intermodal containers, the industry faces a number of environmental concerns, including potential liability due to the accidental discharge of its containers, potential equipment obsolescence or upgrade costs due to changes in environmental regulations and an increased risk of container performance issues due to changes in container design driven by environmental factors.

These risks are particularly significant for the reefer container product line, as environmental regulations have focused on the global warming potential of chemical refrigerants and blowing agent historically used in reefer container insulation.

Also reefer container manufacturers have changed the process of treating reefer container steelwork in a way that can lead to increased corrosion.

Among the largest importers of containers, after the United States, followed: Germany (395 million dollars), South Korea (303 million), France (242 million) and Australia (140 million).

Container leasing helps shipping lines improve the efficiency of their container fleet and provides shipping lines with an alternative source of equipment financing.

Container importers

The vast majority of intermodal containers are currently manufactured in China, and Triton purchases substantially all of its dry, reefer, specialty and tank containers from third-party manufacturers based there.

Also, the container manufacturing industry in China is highly concentrated.

Given the uncertainty and variability of export volumes, and the fact that shipping lines have difficulty accurately forecasting their container needs on a day-to-day, port-by-port basis, the availability of containers for short-term lease reduces the needs of shipping lines.

In addition, the delivery flexibility provided by operating leases also allows shipping lines to adjust the size of their container fleets and the mix of container types in their fleets, both seasonally and over time, and helps balance their trade flows.


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