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Container Factories Dictate Market

Friday, 14th May 2010
The vast majority of all new shipping containers are built in China and by a handful of huge factories. During the global downturn many newbuild orders were cancelled and factories were at best mothballed with some closing all together. Those left kept a skeleton staff only and laid off many skilled workers. Many of these skilled workers came from provinces far away from the factories and were forced to return to the towns they were born in to qualify for any state aid. Many put the skills and training they received at the factories to use and have started their own small businesses or have found alternative employment nearer home. The recent upturn has given the shipping containers factories a conundrum. Order books have started to fill yet they are still not running at full capacity and are either unwilling or unable to re-start the shifts. At the moment prices are being kept high, in fact just this week there have been reports that factories are even unwilling to give prices at the moment for the next build slots citing steel prices and market uncertainty. Faced with the prospect of having to pay almost double the price from 2-3 years ago for new containers owners are thinking twice before selling off any equipment. Those which are designated for sale are at a premium, to reflect market conditions and the cost to replace with new boxes. Conversions and modifications have also increased in price as the raw materials such as steel and the containers themselves contribute a large percentage of the overall cost As the cost to buy second hand 20ft and 40ft containers goes through the roof many people will look towards renting containers and self storage in London and Essex until such time as prices become affordable again.

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