A growing number of investors seeking a steady investment return, are asking themselves, “should I invest in shipping containers.” The resounding answer is “Yes.” The global cargo container fleet is much bigger and much stronger than you might think. For example, there numerous leading shipping companies like China Shipping Container Lines, Hyundai Heavy Industries, the United Arab Shipping Company and Maersk, are having newer larger shipping vessels built to expand their fleets. As a matter of fact, Maersk Line posted its largest profit ever, and is investing more than 3.8 Billion in new Triple E ships; the biggest cargo ships ever imagined. Ten of these mammoth vessels are currently in service, with ten more due any time this quarter, and more on order. With this kind of strength, the global shipping container industry can relied upon to deliver some very profitable returns for investors, funded by the steady demand for their container and crude cargo.
Make no mistake. There are Shipping Industry “nay-sayers.” In April of 2013, Hellenic News reported there were too many ships in the maritime fleet. However, it would seem that even they are “talking out of both sides of their mouth.” Here is a clip from their challenging 4/13 piece.
Contrary to many perceptions, international cargo movements have been growing quite vigorously in recent years. There has been a good recovery from the damaging setback experienced in late 2008 and 2009, when the global financial crisis caused the ‘Great Recession’, which severely but temporarily reduced world economic activity and trade volumes. The upwards trend in seaborne trade resumed and continues, with most forecasts suggesting further strengthening through 2013. A positive trade scene is therefore evolving; some other factors which affect shipping demand have been beneficial as well. On the other side of the balance sheet, enormous amounts of new shipping capacity coming in to the marketplace (partly offset by higher scrapping) has greatly swelled the fleet, as discussed.
The fact of the matter is that, the constant growth of the cargo shipping industry is transforming the manner in which consumer goods are transported internationally, and in doing so; the evolving sector has created opportunities like shipping container investments that offer steady investment returns for investors.
Global shipping – a dynamic market
Tankers, bulk carriers and container ships are the most important means of transportation of our time. Each year they carry billions of tonnes of goods along a few principal trade routes. Containerization has revolutionized global cargo shipping, bringing vast improvements in efficiency. The maritime boom could continue, despite the economic crisis.
Additional Information on Growth of Fleets is reflected in the Chart, courtesy of AT Kearney.
As you can see, the global container shipping industry is alive and well, much larger than one might imagine, and generates a huge amount of movement of goods; goods beyond domestic goods, oil and gas. Moving cargo from one side of the world to the other and back again is an industry poised to meet the rising demand for goods in the United States, Europe and in many other parts of the world.
My advice holds true to all investment types: Thoroughly research the segment in which you wish to invest, review the statistics and altering views, and invest when the time is right. Global container shipping is an alternative investment option that is often overlooked, even though it has consistently proven to be a great investment opportunity.
Sources: Hellenic News, Alphaliner, World Ocean Review, Shipping Statistics and Market Review.