When you think of shipping containers, what is the first thing that comes to mind? After all, they are just big metal boxes that transport the world’s consumer goods from point A to B and so on … However, what they have meant to the entire shipping industry over the 50 plus years they have been in existence is almost immeasurable. The global economy simply would not be able to function as it does without them and almost all the industry’s port equipment and container ships are all designed to handle the standard sized containers measured as TEUs (twenty-foot-equivalent).
To illustrate how far the shipping container’s relevance has come, just imagine the biggest container vessels in the early 1960’s could only transport around 1,000 TEU containers at one time. Now, the biggest cargo ship just launched has a capacity to hold 18, 200 TEUs. The global economy is growing and so too is the need for the shipping industry to be more efficient and effective. The trillions of dollars being spent on these giant cargo vessels and the new modernized ports are all centered around the handling of shipping containers.
As the global economy grows so too does the demand for containers. There are tens of millions in circulation around the global at any given time and there are experts who have predicted that the demand for them could easily double by the year 2020 as the world’s economy experiences an expected boom towards the end of this decade. Some analysts have stated that there would not be the same robust global economic growth over the last 50 years if it were not for the use of shipping containers. They were noted as one of the top ten most influential inventions of the 20th century in terms of contribution to global prosperity and the same can be said for this century as well.
To the surprise of many, investing in containers is regarded as a very good investment. Albeit popular now, for the longest time they were only made available to the rich and influential investors. Nowadays, there are now many reputable container management firms that offer investment-seekers above-average returns for little associated risk. As the global economy grows, so too does the demand for shipping containers. That is what investors like to have in their portfolios. A product that is in current demand and forecast to be for years to come. That is what makes an appealing investment opportunity, no question about it.