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Container lessors spent $4 billion during 2010 to renew the box fleet and are expected to further increase spending the next two years, according to a new report from the Institute of International Container Lessors.
The Washington-based group, which represents companies that lease 90% of the worldâ€™s box fleet, reported that membersâ€™ purchases last year totaled 1.6 million 20-foot equivalent units.
The 2010 total followed a sluggish 2009, when total building of containers sold to ocean carriers and lessors was about 80% less than the year before.
â€œ2010 was a year of recovery for the global containerized cargo industryâ€� said Steven Blust, president of the leasing group. â€œWhile many of the ocean carriers, the primary providers of containers in international trades, were concentrating their efforts on their core service activities, they turned to the international container leasing companies to source a significant portion of their container needs. This in-vestment exhibits the container leasing companiesâ€™ continued support of international trade.â€�
The lessorsâ€™ purchases last year accounted for about 60% of the total new container capacity that was put into service in 2010.
Container manufacturing is expected to rise this year, the leasing group said, citing a report by Containerisation International magazine, which estimated 3.5 million 20-foot units will be built.
As a result, Blust said that 2011 container leasing activity is expected to exceed last year, though his report didnâ€™t give a number.
â€œRecord capital expenditures could result as lessors continue their investments in equipment to support global international trade,â€� the report said. â€œWith growth in international commerce expected to continue for the foreseeable future, opportunities remain for container leasing companies to reinvest earnings and attract new investment to help meet the equipment requirements of container-operating ocean carriers.â€�
The leasing fleet current totals an estimated 11 million 20-foot units.
IICL has 12 members, including U.S.-based companies such as Trac Intermodal and Flexi-Van Leasing.
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