Container manufacturing yet to catch up with demand

The world’s largest container-equipment leasing company, Triton International (NYSE: TRTN), announced record results and provided the latest intel on box production.
The price of a new container, which had stabilized at around $3,500 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) earlier this year, has risen again and is now at $3,800 per TEU. Prices are “at unprecedented levels,” said John O’Callaghan, Triton’s global head of marketing and operations, during the call with analysts.
The price of a new container at this time two years ago, pre-COVID, was around $1,600 per TEU, less than half the current level.
What’s particularly telling is that the price is rising at the very time Chinese factories are churning out more new boxes than they ever have before.
According to Triton’s estimate, which excludes sales to nonleasing and nonshipping buyers, factories built around 2.6 million TEUs of dry (nonrefrigerated/nontank) containers in H1 2021 — more than the 12-month totals in most years.