ITCO survey shows 7.2% growth in tank container industry

May 25, 2016

The International Tank Container Organization (ITCO) published its 4th Annual Tank Container Fleet Survey. The study reveals a 7.2% growth of the global fleet, with 43,780 tank containers built in 2015.

Based on detailed research of tank container operators, leasing companies, and other owners, the survey provides a qualified estimate that there are some 458,200 tank containers presently in operation worldwide. This January 2016 figure represents an increase of 7.2% compared to January 2015 (427,560 tank containers worldwide). A total of 43,780 tank containers were manufactured in 2015 (down from 48,200 in 2014).

Compiled with the support of ITCO members and based on data provided by tank container owning companies, the ITCO survey gives details of 205 operators of tank containers worldwide. The operator figure of 329,080 units (up from 305,700 in 2015), is numerically dominated by the top 10 global tank container operators: Stolt Tank Containers, Hoyer Group, Bulkhaul, Den Hartogh Logistics, Newport, Bertschi Group, China Railway Logistics, VTG Tanktainer, Interflow, and Suttons. These represent some 54% of the total fleet.

A total of 36 leasing companies, with a fleet size of 201,750 units (up from 195,000 in 2015), are listed in the survey. The top ten lessors are EXSIF Worldwide, Seaco Global, Eurotainer, Trifleet Leasing, TAL International, NRS Group, Raffles Lease, IEL, TWS Tankcontainer, and Multistar Leasing. Those companies account for 85% of the total leasing fleet.

The top three alone account for 58% of the total fleet. However, as the majority of these tanks are leased to operators or direct to cargo shippers, leasing company tanks (with the exception of units not currently in operation) are not included in the global fleet total.

Growth in the tank container industry is reflected by the number of new containers built. The ITCO Survey gives details of 18 tank container manufacturers, which produced 43,780 new tank containers in 2015. Compared to 2014, when 48,200 new tank containers were manufactured, this represents a decrease of 9.2% over 2014.

Commenting on the results of the Survey, Heike Clausen, ITCO president, said: “The 4th Annual ITCO Tank Container Fleet Survey shows that the world’s tank container fleet grew by 7.2% compared to last year, with the total figure now standing at some 458,200 units. This growth shows the recognition of the tank container as a safe, reliable, economic, and sustainable means of transport. It is certainly fair to say that with 43,780 new manufactured tank containers in 2015 and our maintenance programs, our customers can count on an extraordinarily innovative and progressive tank container industry.”

The complete Survey, giving details of the size, ownership and growth of the world’s tank container fleet, can be downloaded from the ITCO website

The ITCO Fleet Survey is published annually, with periodic updates. ITCO welcomes companies to contribute to the on-going reports by providing fleet totals, comments and recommendations on all aspects of the Survey--including fleet estimate methodology. The first opportunity to discuss the report face-to-face is the upcoming trade show transport logistic China in Shanghai from 14-16 June 2016.