Container shortage has been accentuated during the pandemic that created slowdown in port operations and needs for quicker rotation of boxes worldwide to keep up with the demand.

The situation led Hapag-Lloyd to announce it is placing one of the largest orders for boxes in the company’s history. The order is valued at $550m for 150,000 teu of new dry and reefer boxes.

“The container shipping industry is currently seeing unprecedented demand, which has led to a shortage of containers all over the world,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd.

 “With its recent container orders, Hapag-Lloyd is contributing to efforts to ease the current situation and will be able to offer its customers a much better service.”

Hapag-Lloyd cites the fact that boxes are turning slower, creating shipping companies’ need for more than the normal number of containers to carry the same volume. They pointed to delayed shipments due to port congestion brought on by the pandemic as creating pressure on shippers and forwarders worldwide who cannot locate enough boxes to ship their goods.

The company has already begun to receive some new containers and expects to continue to receive new boxes built in China through 2021. In addition, they are also adding 8,000 teus of special containers to be used for oversized and dangerous goods.