Home Automotive and Transportation Global Shipping Container Market Size, Demand, Top Share to 2032

Shipping Container Market

Shipping Container Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Container Size (Large Containers (40 Feet), Small Containers (20 Feet), High Cube Containers (40 Feet)), By Product Type (Dry Storage Containers, Flat Rack Containers, Refrigerated Containers, Special-purpose Containers, Others), By End-User (Food and Beverages, Consumer Goods, Healthcare, Industrial Products, Vehicle Transport, Others) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2024-2032

Report Code: SRAT2085DR
Study Period 2020-2032 CAGR 4.1%
Historical Period 2020-2022 Forecast Period 2024-2032
Base Year 2023 Base Year Market Size USD 10,222.74 million
Forecast Year 2032 Forecast Year Market Size USD 14,676.55 million
Largest Market Asia Pacific Fastest Growing Market Europe
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Market Overview

The global shipping container market size was valued at USD 10,222.74 million in 2023. It is estimated to reach USD 14,676.55 million by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 4.1% during the forecast period (2022-2032).

A shipping container is a strong container that can be used for shipping, storing, and moving. These containers make carrying goods by land and water easier, using vehicles like trucks, trains, and ships. As a result, multimodal product transportation is now more effective. Likewise, renting shipping containers has grown in popularity among companies in various industries because of their cost, convenience, and ease of storing a significant volume of goods.

A shipping holder could be a container with handling, capacity, and shipment resistance qualities. These include enormous reusable steel containers for intermodal transport to ubiquitous corrugated boxes. Like cardboard boxes and pallets, containers bundle freight and items into huge unitized loads that are effectively handled, moved, and stacked and can be densely packed in a ship or yard. They are constructed using aluminum and steel. The dimensions and construction of each container conform to the International Organization for Standardization's criteria and rules (ISO).

Market Dynamics

Market Drivers

Increasing Demand for Cargo Transportation through Ships

The use of waterways as a means of transporting goods has gained popularity. This is explained by the fact that several cargoes are successfully transported to the other end by ships while ensuring the cargo's security. Furthermore, compared to air and road transportation, cargo ships are less expensive for carrying products because they can move far more cargo than other modes of transportation. In addition, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which tackles trade, development, and investment concerns globally, estimated that over 1,687 million tons of cargo are transported annually in nearly 177.6 million containers across a distance of 998 billion ton-miles. The demand for cargo transportation via ships is expected to increase due to recent advancements in commercial vessels and significant players' innovation of better and more efficient cargo ships. These ships will be fitted with the newest technology, including advanced sensors and navigation systems. This eventually led to the global shipping container market growth.

Rise in Trade-Related Agreements

Many trade-related agreements have been made between rich and developing countries to move products. As a result, suppliers now favor rivers as a better and more effective mode of transportation. Due to this growing propensity, makers of cargo containers have created better, more effective containers in various sizes and shapes, accelerating the expansion of the global market. The free trade agreement has made it possible to reduce taxes and levies. Furthermore, since importers and exporters are not required to pay taxes to the government, trade operations have increased. Governments in trade blocs are removing restrictions and liberalizing trade. Therefore, when trade-related agreements develop, there is a corresponding rise in demand for stronger containers, which supports the expansion of the global shipping container market.

Market Restraint

Fluctuations in Transportation and Inventory Costs

A proper means of transportation must be used to carry goods, which means that the medium must be used effectively. Another significant element that profoundly affects logistics is the expense associated with storing inventory and transporting goods. In addition, price is essential to logistics services from the first function until the items are delivered. The ongoing fluctuation has impacted the shipping business in transportation and material inventory costs since it has given consumers more options for carrying their goods, ultimately slowing the expansion of the worldwide shipping container market.

Market Opportunities

Anticipated Trend of Automation in Marine Transportation

Numerous businesses have contributed to developing cutting-edge, autonomous ships for use in passenger and cargo transportation, which in turn contributes to the expansion of the shipping industry, thanks to the rise in the trend of automation and the demonstration of autonomous ships by giants. For instance, the world's first completely driverless boat was shown by Rolls Royce with the Finnish ferry company Finferries.

Additionally, the completely autonomous container ship Yara Birkeland, built in Norway, was expected to begin operations in 2020. Kongsberg, a Norwegian company, teamed up with Yara to create all-electric ships in 2020. By lowering human mistakes, similar improvements carried out globally by many companies increase the safety and security of the cargo and the passengers on board. Hence, the shipping container business is anticipated to benefit from the anticipated trend of automation in sea transportation.

Regional Analysis

Based on region, the global shipping container market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

Asia-Pacific is the most substantial shareholder in the global shipping container market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period. Large coastal lines and significant manufacturers operating in Asia-Pacific shipping containers fuel the growth of the shipping container market. In addition, an increase in government initiatives to boost the marine trade across the region and expansion in untapped markets of Asia-Pacific, such as India and Indonesia, are activated to unfold numerous opportunities for market growth soon. Companies operating effectively in Asia-Pacific have carried out numerous developments related to shipping containers, which have contributed toward the growth of the market across Asia-Pacific.

Asia-Pacific's dominant position in the global market is primarily due to the region's robust marine trade with nations like China, Japan, India, South Korea, and others in the Asia Pacific. The top three nations that manufacture ships are China, South Korea, and Japan. In 2019, these five countries accounted for the delivery of 95% of all ships that were built from scratch. Additionally, it is anticipated that significant export volumes, intraregional commerce, and rising manufacturing activity, particularly in these nations, will further drive market expansion.

Europe is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.9% over the forecast period. Technological advancements among ships, navigational systems and real-time data processing, and increased seaborne trade have significantly contributed to the growth of the European shipping container market. In addition, implementing stringent ISO regulations about cargo transportation and the rapid increase in import and export across European countries have fueled the market's growth. Companies such as A.P. Moller–Maersk Group, CARU containers, OEG Offshore Limited, and YMC Container Solutions operating across Europe offer a variety of services such as transportation of food items from one place to another along with heavy machinery transportation and other similar services, which leads to the growth of shipping container industry across Europe. In addition, technological advancements and huge deposits of raw materials in North America have considerably contributed to the growth of the North American shipping container market.

Furthermore, an increase in government initiatives toward cargo transportation through ships, followed by the rise in inter-regional trade, is anticipated to unfold numerous opportunities for the market's growth in the near future. Flat rack and dry storage containers, which are meant to transport goods immune to temperature and moisture extremes, are prospective markets predicted to expand at significantly higher rates than the industry average over the forecast period. Numerous advancements have been made by container manufacturers operating in the region to develop enhanced and efficient shipping containers, fueling the market growth across North America.

LAMEA comprises Latin America and the Middle East and Africa. Numerous players operating effectively across LAMEA countries are augmenting the growth of the shipping container market across LAMEA. Factors such as increased dependency on seaborne trade and extensive coastline drive the development of the LAMEA shipping container market. Notwithstanding the region's potential as a buyer of shipping containers, recent financial losses by countries in LAMEA and unfavorable reimbursement rules are the sector's key challenges.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Container Size
  1. Large Containers (40 Feet)
  2. Small Containers (20 Feet)
  3. High Cube Containers (40 Feet)
By Product Type
  1. Dry Storage Containers
  2. Flat Rack Containers
  3. Refrigerated Containers
  4. Special-purpose Containers
  5. Others
By End-User
  1. Food and Beverages
  2. Consumer Goods
  3. Healthcare
  4. Industrial Products
  5. Vehicle Transport
  6. Others
Company Profiles A.P. Moller–Maersk Group CARU containers COSCO SHIPPING Development Co. Ltd China International Marine Containers CXIC Group Singamas Container Holdings Limited OEG Offshore limited TLS Offshore Containers International W&K Containers Inc. YMC Container Solutions
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global shipping container market is segmented by the container size, product type, and end-user.

Based on container size, the global market is divided into large containers (40 feet), small containers (20 feet), and high cube containers (40 feet). 

The small containers (20 feet) segment is responsible for the largest shipping container market share and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.4% over the forecast period. Small containers are the most basic types of containers having an approximate length of 20 feet. According to the ISO guidelines, their maximum gross weight is expected to be 30,480 kg and tare weight to be 2,170 kg. A small container's payload or net weight is around 28,310 kg; its cubic capacity is 33.2 cu.m. An increase in seaborne trade and a substantial number of manufacturing facilities are the major driving factors of the shipping container market. In addition, technological advancements in containers in weight reduction and usage of stronger alloys and metals are anticipated to augment market growth.

Containers larger in size and volume than small containers with an overall length of 40 feet are termed large containers. These containers are used to transport large structures from one port to another. As per the ISO guidelines, the maximum gross weight of large containers is expected to be 30,400 kg, and the tare weight is 3,750 kg. Therefore, a large container's payload or net weight is 26,730 kg. Rapid urbanization, globalization, and improvement in transportation services propel the growth of the large container market. In addition, an increase in government initiatives and technological advancement in the manufacturing process of large containers is expected to unfold numerous opportunities for market players.

Based on product type, the global market is bifurcated into dry storage containers, flat rack containers, refrigerated containers, special-purpose containers, and others. 

The dry storage containers segment owns the highest shipping container market share and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% over the forecast period. Dry storage containers are the most commonly used shipping containers. They are available in numerous ISO-standardized dimensions. They transport dry products and are available in 20ft, 40ft, and 10ft lengths. Shippers use them to transport dry goods that are not sensitive to temperature changes. Dry storage containers are gaining traction in the shipping container industry due to increased cargo transportation through waterways. In addition, the transportation of various water-resistant goods has led to the demand for dry storage containers. Moreover, technological advancements in small containers and an increase in seaborne trade are expected to drive the growth of the dry storage containers market.

A refrigerated ISO freight container is temperature-regulated and always has a carefully controlled low temperature. These units ship perishable goods such as vegetables and fruits over long distances. The increase in the transportation of temperature-resistant goods as well as the transportation of cold stored medicine, have boosted the demand for refrigerated containers. In addition, the rise in ISO standards related to the production of high-quality goods and the increase in shipping of food and beverages from one port to another drive the growth of the refrigerated container market.

Based on end-user, the global market is segmented into food and beverages, consumer goods, healthcare, industrial products, vehicle transport, and others.

The industrial products segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period. Industrial products include large machines such as generators, turbines, boilers, and filters, which ships transport. Such giant machines cannot be transported through roadways and aircraft and must be carried by ships. Various advantages are associated with the transportation of industrial products through ships. For instance, ships serve as the fastest mode of transportation, and transportation via ships requires a lower cost than other mediums. Moreover, ships being the secure means of transportation leads to their broader adoption in the transportation industry, thereby propelling the growth of the global market.

Consumer goods are those final products intended to cater to the increasing consumer needs rather than being indulged in producing the same material. They are a type of processed-produced goods that are ready for usage by consumers. Shipping containers are gaining immense traction in transporting consumer goods due to increased trading agreements across different countries. In addition, numerous consumer goods are transported from one place to another through ships and containers, resulting in increased demand for shipping containers. Moreover, various advantages offered by transporting goods by ships, such as fast transportation, lower incurred cost, and a secure means of transportation, has led to the expansion of the shipping container market.

Market Size By Container Size

Market Size By Container Size
  • Large Containers (40 Feet)
  • Small Containers (20 Feet)
  • High Cube Containers (40 Feet)
  • Recent Developments

    Key Players

    Shipping Container Market Share of Key Players

    Shipping Container Market Share of Key Players
    A.P. Moller–Maersk Group CARU containers COSCO SHIPPING Development Co. Ltd China International Marine Containers CXIC Group Singamas Container Holdings Limited OEG Offshore limited TLS Offshore Containers International W&K Containers Inc. YMC Container Solutions Others

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    How big is the shipping container market?
    The global shipping container market revenue is estimated to reach USD 14,676.55 million by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 4.1% (2022-2032).
    Small containers (20 feet) segment is the leading segment for the market during forecast period.
    Rising demand for cargo transportation through ships, rise in trade-related agreements are the major growth factors of the shipping container market.
    Asia Pacific region has the highest growth rate in the shipping container market.
    Top 10 players in the global market include A.P. Moller–Maersk Group, CARU containers, China International Marine Containers, CXIC Group, Singamas Container Holdings Limited, OEG Offshore limited, W&K Containers, Inc., and YMC Container Solutions.

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