China’s near 100% monopoly of the container manufacturing business could have an Asian rival soon.
Two South Korean firms – Seojin Systems and Ace Engineering – are constructing a container factory in Haiphong, Vietnam, due to go into operation in the middle of next year. The project is supported by state-run ship finance specialist Korea Ocean Business Corporation (KOBC).
The factory will have an initial output of 4,000 containers a month with HMM, South Korea’s flagship carrier, signed on as a principal early customer.
According to data from KOBC, Chinese factories currently account for 99% of all new containers, something that has been discussed by a number of major economies this year during 2021’s supply chain troubles, including by politicians on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.
“To strengthen the competitiveness of local shipping companies, KOBC will continue to carry out container lease support projects, while continuing to diversify domestic and overseas sources to secure container supply,” the Korean ship financier stated in a release.