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Shipping Container Shortage 2021: Why are prices so high?

Shipping Container Shortage 2020

The current shipping container shortage is something that concerns many people, especially those looking to use containers for storage, transport of goods or to build container housing. This is why so many business owners are taking matters into their own hands now and purchasing shipping containers for their own use, rather than having to make-do with rented space or storage units as demand for these spaces increases. But is this solution the best way forward?   In this blog, we’ll examine the shipping container shortage, what’s driving the prices up, and what container rental companies can offer to help solve the problem.

To start, a shipping container is a containerized warehouse which is specifically designed to be utilized to store goods that are not always intended to be put into permanent storage buildings. These include perishable goods and hazardous goods, as well as all sorts of other goods that might not be suitable to be put on a traditional store shelf or may be needed at a job site or other remote location. The main benefit of using shipping containers for storage is that they provide a very effective wind and water tight storage solution for many different types of goods and they can provide supplemental storage when needed.

Shipping container shortage

So why the shipping container shortage?  There are many contributing macroeconomic and geopolitical factors, but to boil it down simply, there is an imbalance of trade whereby the United States is exporting more than it’s importing.  This is causing a ripple effect in many parts of the U.S. economy, especially among shipping container sales and rental companies.  They are no longer able to get containers at reasonable prices and the shipping costs from China have increased exponentially as fewer cargo ships are making their way to American shores.

Why such high prices on shipping containers?

Why such high shipping container prices and what does this mean for you as a consumer?  I’m sorry to say that you can expect to pay higher prices as the shipping container sales and rental companies resign themselves to charging more to cover their own costs.  The good news is that if you are in need of a shipping container (and you are lucky enough to find one), the average lifespan of a shipping container is upwards of 30 years depending on how it’s used.  This means the cost will be spread out over the lifetime of the investment.  If the prices set you on your heals, there are plenty of companies with rental containers, like us, that may be able to get a rental container to your site for either a short-term or long-term rental.

In the end, the shipping container sales and rental companies that are experiencing a container shortage are simply doing what they must do to make sure that they can continue to operate. That means that they are working to make sure that their storage yards can hold enough containers to meet current demand, but that they are also working to make sure that new containers can be added to their product mix. Unless there is a sudden, unforeseen and significant increase in cargo volume, the chances of container prices going down anytime soon are slim, but find comfort in the fact that there are many rental options.  If you need storage for the long haul, buying a container today can provide a clean, secure storage solution for many years to come.

For more background on the current container shortage, read our blog on LinkedIn, Shipping Container Shortage Causing Price Increases and Delays in the Northeast.

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