Smart container fleet to expand 8-fold over 5 years – Says Drewry
According to the latest Container Census & Leasing Annual Review & Forecast 2022/23 report from Drewry, which will be released later this month, the global telematics-enabled container equipment fleet is expected to increase eightfold over the next five years and account for 25% of the world's box inventories by 2026. This growth will be fueled by wider adoption across the dry container fleet.
"After the Covid-19 outbreak broke out and the ensuing supply chain disruption emphasized the need for improved cargo visibility to handle longer and more unpredictable transit durations, smart containers have gained in popularity. Over the following five years, it is anticipated that the adoption rate of smart containers would quicken."
When a telematics device is installed on a container, the container becomes "smart," allowing operators to speed up container turnaround and thereby boost equipment availability. In order to better manage their supply chains, it also enables beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) to comprehend the position and condition of their cargo.
According to Drewry, the demand for enhanced visibility of cargo flows and container fleet management is being driven by ongoing supply chain disruption and port congestion, both of which show no signs of subsiding. "Carriers have enough money to spend on new projects and perceive chances to increase the effectiveness of their operations by deploying smart containers."
Following growth of more than 30% throughout the year, Drewry predicts that by the end of 2021, around 3.6 percent of the world's fleet of container equipment will be fitted with smart technology gadgets.
"The take-up, however, varies greatly depending on the kind of equipment, with penetration being very substantial in the reefer and intermodal container sectors, but much lower in the dry box sector. A third of the fleet of marine reefer containers are now smart-enabled, compared to more than 40% of intermodal containers."
According to Drewry, the global fleet of smart containers will grow to over 8.7 million units in the five years leading up to 2026, accounting for up to 25% of all box stocks globally. "Uptake is likely to accelerate" as a result of technology advancements that reduce device costs and increase their value to both transport operators and BCOs.
According to Drewry estimates, the dry container fleet, whose penetration is now as low as 0.3 percent, will now be the main driver of the smart fleet acceleration. The recent declaration by Hapag-Lloyd that it plans to outfit its entire dry box fleet with smart devices may compel other top carriers to follow suit.
Return on investment for shipping lines will come from the opportunity to optimize their box fleet and cargo business. Previous attempts to build a dry smart fleet were unsuccessful because they relied on BCO demand, which was discouraged by extra costs and a lack of carrier IoT service integration.
According to Drewry's analysis, shipping lines will concentrate on installing a critical mass of smart devices to gain operational advantages throughout their container fleets and cargo operations as they get ready for the next advancement in service offerings for supply chain visibility.