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Foreign firms buy Vietnamese shipping containers to offset shortage

Foreign firms buy Vietnamese shipping containers to offset shortage

Tuesday, July 09, 2024, 11:55 GMT+7
Foreign firms buy Vietnamese shipping containers to offset shortage
A container forklift truck is seen operating at a container yard in Vietnam. Photo: A.N. / Tuoi Tre

Container leasing companies worldwide are buying international-standard containers produced in Vietnam, against the backdrop of the global container shortage driving up sea freight rates.

Recently, container freight rates on many routes to the U.S. have soared 250 percent compared to March, from US$2,950 to $7,350 per 40-foot container, severely affecting exporters around the world, according to analysts.

Experts suggest that the sharp rise in freight prices is due to a global shortage of empty containers affecting many regions, raising concerns that the record-high sea freight rates for containerized goods seen in the 2021-22 period may recur.

To address this dearth, China, one of the world’s largest economies, has urgently collected empty containers in preparation for a large-scale export of goods to the U.S. before August 1, many shipping lines said at a recent meeting with the Vietnam Maritime Department.

Many container leasing firms around the world are interested in purchasing containers made in Vietnam, including U.S.-based SeaCube Container Leasing Ltd., one of the world's leading companies in container leasing and logistics solutions.

Early this month, SeaCub took delivery of a shipment of 500 40-foot containers from Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province-based Hoa Phat Container Production Joint Stock Company (Hoa Phat Container Production), under the Vietnamese steel giant Hoa Phat Group.

With a global operating network, SeaCube provides standard and reefer container rental services, meeting the diverse cargo transportation needs of international customers, said Hoa Phat Container Production director Vu Duc Sinh.

After this shipment, the two sides hope to continue cooperating in supplying more container products to the international market, Dien Dan Doanh Nghiep (Business Forum) magazine cited Sinh as saying.

Jorge P. Dias, vice-president of operations and procurement at SeaCube, acknowledged that the demand for shipping containers is huge. 

SeaCube will likely place another large order for shipping containers with the Vietnamese container manufacturer in the coming time, Dias affirmed.

Dias commented that Hoa Phat's containers, manufactured with the most advanced equipment and technology, meet international standards for seagoing containers and the technical requirements for transcontinental cargo transportation.

Hoa Phat Container Production has delivered many containers to various partners, both domestic and foreign.

The manufacturer specializes in 20-foot and 40-foot general cargo containers, targeting a total capacity of 500,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year.

It can now turn out 200,000 TEUs per year.  

With this production expansion, Hoa Phat Container Production has become the largest manufacturer of ISO containers in Vietnam and Southeast Asia in general.

‘ISO containers’ are international intermodal containers that meet the standards specified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

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Vinh Tho - Cong Trung / Tuoi Tre News

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