How is the Coronavirus Affecting the Container Industry?

You may have been following the terrible Coronavirus stories in the news lately. The impact has been awful.

You may or may not be aware that these events in China will also have an impact on the UK container industry. So far, the following has happened in China:

  • Container factories have had extended shut downs after the Chinese New Year break.
  • There have been staff shortages at the container factories.
  • Ports and shipping lines are on extended shut downs after the Chinese New Year break.

But what does this mean for you as a consumer, looking to buy containers?

  • The factories were already mostly working only one shift, rather than two – this in addition to the extended shut down means there are likely to be delays in getting containers manufactured and a lack of production availability.
  • The ports and shipping lines have not loaded any real volumes of containers with cargo for over a month now, meaning that no new container stock will arrive for around 1 month (possibly longer depending on whether the virus situation gets under control). This means stock in the UK will already have to last longer than usual, and containers are likely to run low or run out in the coming weeks /months and potentially be unavailable for a period of time.
  • The factories have already put up their prices for March /April production onwards, due to rises in the cost of corten steel, however it is likely that with a production shortage also, they will use this opportunity to raise them even further in the coming weeks.
  • We are likely to see prices for containers rise in the UK in the coming months as more expensively manufactured containers start to reach the UK, once they’ve been built and shipped over.

We hope you find this update useful and if you have further questions about this, please don’t hesitate to ask.

If you know that you will have a requirement in the coming weeks / months, please feel free to contact us – we are able to take pre orders for containers if you want to guarantee supply. We are also able to confirm the price of stock which is here now, or due in the next 1-2 months.