ITCO, the International Tank Container Organisation, has published its seventh annual tank container fleet survey. This year’s survey estimates that, at 1 January 2019, the global tank container fleet had reached 604,700 units worldwide, compared to the figure of 552,000 on 1 January 2018, a year-on-year growth of 10.8%.
The number of tank containers produced last year also showed a significant increase. In 2018, a total of 59,700 tank containers were built, compared to 48,500 in 2017, an increase of more than 11,000 units over the previous year.
The survey shows how, numerically, the industry continues to be dominated on a global level by a relatively small number of major tank container operators and leasing companies. The top 10 operators account for over 225,000 tanks representing nearly 60% of the global operators’ fleet of 381,700 units. The top 10 leasing companies account for 227,000 tanks, about 82% of the total leasing fleet of 286,000. The top three leasing companies account for 150,000 tanks, almost 55% of the total fleet.
Commenting on the results of the survey, Reg Lee, ITCO president, said: “The expansion of the tank container industry underlines the fact that this mode of transport is safe, reliable, economic and sustainable. There are a number of reasons for this growth. The trend continues to successfully convert certain cargoes – which were previously shipped in drums or transported in chemical tankers – to tank containers. In addition, China has seen a significant growth in the use of tank containers for domestic transport of bulk liquids.”