Inside Logistics

Hapag-Lloyd boosts container orders to cope with backlog

The sharp increase in demand for ocean shipping has led to a shortage of containers across the world


May 28, 2021
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Hapag-Lloyd has ordered an additional 60,000 TEU of standard containers from China.

The shipping line says the extra investment in containers comes as a result of the congestion currently clogging many ports around the world. “Severe imbalances – such as with exports from Asia, but also owing to congestion in ports and delays in hinterland transports – are causing containers to be tied up in transit for considerably longer periods of time. More boxes are currently needed overall to manage the same transport volume,” the company said in a statement.

The first boxes will supplement those currently scheduled to be delivered to Hapag-Lloyd as early as July and integrated into the existing fleet. The majority will be subsequently delivered in the third quarter.

“Demand continues to be very high, and the supply of container equipment is currently one of our industry’s biggest challenges and demands our full attention. To counteract the container shortage – but, most importantly, to offer our customers a better service – we have repeatedly invested in our container fleet since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd.

In April of this year, Hapag-Lloyd had already announced orders for a total of around 150,000 TEU of standard and reefer containers to be delivered over the course of 2021. The order included both dry boxes and state-of-the-art reefer containers.  Additionally, the company ordered 8,000 TEU of special containers to be used for over-sized or dangerous goods.

Valued at roughly US$550 million, the initial buy was one of the biggest container orders in the company’s history.

The company had also invested in its container fleet at the beginning of the pandemic.