As of the year 2022, there are approximately 65 million shipping containers in use across the globe. The ever-increasing demand for international trade and the transportation of goods is the primary factor driving this number’s consistent upward trend. In 2020, 798.9 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containers were handled in ports worldwide. Container ships, some of which can carry up to 24,346 containers, play an important role in international trade. The global container fleet reached 50 million TEU in 2021. 

How Many Shipping Containers Are There?

Here are some key statistics on the global shipping container fleet

  • There are around 5,600 container ships operating globally.
  • The global container shipping fleet has a capacity of about 25 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). Source
  • The three largest container manufacturing companies (CIMC, CXIC and DFIC) are all located in China and account for around 80% of global production7. (Source)
  • The largest shipping container vessels today can carry over 23,000 TEUs, more than 4 times what the largest ships could carry 20 years ago.
  • The Port of Shanghai handles the most containers globally at 43.5 million TEU annually7. In the US, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handle around 40% of US container imports.
  • It’s estimated that 1,300-1,400 containers are lost at sea each year, less than 0.1% of the total fleet.
  • While the total number of containers is increasing steadily, growth of the container ship fleet itself has slowed down in recent years.

The global shipping container fleet consists of around 65 million TEU spread across over 5,600 container vessels, with the vast majority of containers produced in China and shipped through major ports like Shanghai. The fleet continues to grow in size and capacity to meet increasing global trade volumes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *