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The global ISO container market size was valued at 686.6 thousand units in 2021. The market is projected to grow from 743.0 thousand units in 2022 to 1,362.4 thousand units by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 9.0% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with ISO container experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a growth of 7.9% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
ISO containers are international intermodal containers manufactured according to the specifications of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The cornerstone of such containers is the capability to withstand extreme environments and ensure the structural integrity imposed on them by movement on land or sea. An ISO standardization ensures the container meets the derived size and durability requirements, so it can be safely and evenly stacked on steamboats and trains.
Multi-compartment tank, lined tanks, reefer tank, and cryogenic & gas tanks are the four types of ISO containers. Multi-compartment containers have two or more compartments created by the presence of internal walls, allowing two or more substances to be stored simultaneously in a single tank shell. Lined tanks have additional safety frames. Reefer tanks are large refrigerators used to transport temperature-controlled cargo such as meat, fruit, seafood, fish, vegetables, and dairy products, as well as non-food items such as flowers and pharmaceuticals. Cryogenic & gas tanks are types of industrial storage tanks with aspects such as internal distribution, loading, and safety. Swap body tanks are types of freight containers used for road and rail transportation.
Chemicals, petrochemicals, food & beverages pharmaceuticals, industrial gas are some of the major end-user industries.
Supply Chain Crisis Caused Supply Demand Imbalance During COVID-19
Supply chain crisis became a commonly used term during the coronavirus pandemic, when COVID-19 caused tremendous economic disruption around the world.
At the beginning of the pandemic, it was anticipated that naval trading, including ISO container trade, would experience a severe downfall. However, variations in shopping and consumption habits caused by the pandemic, coupled with a rise in e-commerce, as well as lockdown measures, has on contrary resulted in increased import demand for fabricated consumer goods, a large chunk of which is moved in shipping containers.
However, this increase in demand was not fulfilled by satisfactory supply of shipping capacity, thus creating a supply demand disparity. In addition, the rising freight rates and associated costs were the main result of mismatches between increased demand and reduced supply capacity, labor shortages, and ongoing COVID-19 restrictions imposed in port areas.
However, after the pandemic, the government provided economic stimulus to soften the effect of the economic shutdown, allowing consumers to maintain their purchasing power while almost all activity related to the service industry was significantly curtailed.
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Increasing Use of IoT-based Solutions in ISO Container to Propel Market Growth
Almost all industry verticals are shifting their businesses on the digital platform and adopting industrial automation to ease the operation and propel the growth of the business. The digital form of business includes intensive use of high-end technology such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and 5G network technology. The modern container shipping industry is also adopting these technologies to enhance the efficiency of their operations and increase customer satisfaction.
Moreover, the supply chain system of the global economy is majorly dependent upon shipping containers that transport raw materials to manufacturers and the final products to distributors. Use of the Internet of Things makes it easy to track real-time location and physical condition of the container.
Furthermore, several key players are investing in R&D of IoT-based containers and its required system, which increases the use of IoT-based system in containers. For instance, in March 2022, ORBCOMM Inc. provided the Internet of Things solutions globally. The company launched its IoT product, which is called “CT 3500 IoT telematics device”. This is a next generation device for smart management system for refrigerated containers and their stored cargo.
Cost-effective and Convenient Way of Transportation to Aid the Market Growth
Containerization and globalization had a significant impact on the shipping industry since increasing demand for transportation and containerization reduced its costs and improved its efficiency.
ISO tanks can be easily transported by train to cargo yard and by trucks to rail and decks. It is compact and highly safe, and thus can be transported by air. Shipping tanks should be the same size, have a sturdy motorized frame, a protected locking system, and common ports.
The demand for oil & gas in the global market is soaring as the production will continue to outpace real demand for years to come. Although the number of wells in operation is on the decline, the production volume is on the rise.
Further, ISO tanks reduce handling and shipping cost since they permit smaller than truckloads or shiploads of liquids to be packed and carried easily using truck to the train, and from the railway to ship deck and at times ISO containers can even be transported using airways conveniently.
As opposed to the conventional Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC), ISO containers can be stacked and stored efficiently, thus creating ease of movement, saving time, and also helping reduce carbon footprint. Owing to all these aforementioned factors, there has been a rise in the market growth.
High Initial Investment Requirement for New Developments Obstructing Market Growth
ISO container handling infrastructures and equipment, including warehousing facility, giant cranes, and inland road & rail access are necessary capital investments that require large amounts of capital.
Rising raw material cost of steel over the years has also impacted the cost of ISO containers. Further, the inspection and certification of such containers also add up to the total manufacturing cost. Therefore, due to the afore-mentioned reasons, there has been a hindrance in the ISO container market growth.
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Road Segment to Hold Majority Market Share during Forecast Period
On the basis of transportation mode, the market is classified into rail, marine, and road. Large quantities of goods are transported across major nations that demand an efficient logistic support system along with the approach of hub-and-spoke to tackle the transport task.
Owing to the remarkable improvement in road vehicle productivity and the quality of road infrastructure coupled with gradual removal of regulations restricting road freight carriage is uplifting the need for the road segment. In addition, rampant growth in interstate trade has widened the range of freight tasks for which road is better suited than rail. Followed by road, rail transportation also has a sizable share in the market and is anticipated to showcase notable growth in the forecast period.
Additionally, marine transport holds considerable ISO container market share due to its ability to carry freight to longer distances. International maritime trade, world economy, cost of transportation, political events, and average profit achieved are some of the factors influencing the growth of marine transport.
Multi-Compartment Tank to Hold Highest Market Share During the Forecast Period
Based on container type, the market is divided into multi-compartment tank, lined tank, reefer tank, cryogenic & gas tanks, and swap body tank. Out of all these, the demand for multi-compartment tanks is expected to spur the market growth due to its multiple advantages such as carrying multiple types of freight simultaneously.
Further, multi-compartment tanks have twin plot or triple compartments or four compartments that include various versions. For instance, four different colors of printing ink can be delivered in one specially designed multi-compartment tanks.
Cryogenic & gas tanks segment has a substantial growth rate as the demand for the transport of liquefied gasses such as butane, propane, and ammonia is rising exponentially.
Transportation of Petrochemicals to Generate Maximum Revenue
Based on end-use industry, the market is segmented into petrochemicals, industrial gas, food & beverage, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and others that include paints.
Due to the surge in global demand for petrochemicals, it is anticipated to surpass the demand for gasoline and diesel by 2030. Thus, petrochemicals will hold the highest market share.
Further, the advancement in digital technologies is expected to continue to transform chemical manufacturing through real time monitoring of chemical assets, improving predictive maintenance accuracy, cost-efficient safety monitoring, and improving efficiency as well as reliability of logistics across diverse supply chains.
Followed by petrochemicals and chemicals, pharmaceuticals and industrial gas segments are also expected to showcase considerable growth over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific ISO Container Market Size, 2021 (Thousand Unit)
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The market report's scope comprises five major regions, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America.
The Asia Pacific region dominated the regional market and accounted for major market share in 2021. Solid maritime trade from Asia Pacific countries such as China, Japan, India, and South Korea has largely contributed to its leading position in the global market. In addition, improvements in ISO tank containers in the region allow the transportation of all types of products from non-hazardous, hazardous aqueous, and portable liquids (food grade) to explosives, corrosives, combustibles, and toxins.
China is expected to showcase modest growth during the forecast period. In addition, China has also become a major manufacturing base for shipping containers around the world. Large companies are setting up production facilities in China to benefit from low labor and raw material prices. The country is also increasing investments to expand its ports and shipping capacity. China's supportive policies and favorable environment, along with its growing industrial capabilities, have enabled the growth of the global market. This will trigger demand for shipping containers on a global scale. Further, various initiatives, including China's One Belt, aim to improve the current scenario for shipping ports in the region, thus enabling market growth.
Furthermore, Europe is predicted to witness a significant growth of the market due to rise in maritime trade activities. Moreover, the presence of major key players in the region is further propelling the growth of the International Standards Organization (ISO) shipping container market in the region in the coming years.
Moreover, North America is also expected to hold a major share in the market due to rapid construction of warehouses and distribution centers in the region. Growth in chemicals, petrochemicals, and pharmaceuticals will play a major role in revenue growth of the region. The strong presence of prominent global manufacturers in the market of North America is also aiding the growth of the market.
The Middle East & Africa is projected to witness considerable growth in upcoming years. This is owing to a thriving transport and logistics sector and an increase in sea and land trade activity. Additionally, the growing demand for convenience and affordability has led to tremendous product adoption across multiple sectors. The Middle East & Africa uses the most ISO tank containers for oil & gas transportation and export. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are the main consumers of raw materials in the Middle East. For instance, Aramco recently spent USD 69 billion to buy 70% of SABIC, the Saudi state-owned petrochemical company, the world's fourth largest and a major user of tank containers. The move strengthens Aramco's strategy of expanding its chemicals footprint. All major tank container operators, except Bulkhaul, now have GCC joint ventures or subsidiaries. Stolt has a long established operational footprint, including its joint ventures with Saudi Arabia-based Sahreej and UAE-based JTS Depot.
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Latin America is still considered an emerging region on the global container trade map. Nevertheless, the volume of trade in the region has expanded significantly over the past decade & countries in the region rely heavily on container shipping to develop and sustain their economies. Also, the Panama Canal, which connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans is located in Latin America. Moreover, with the advent of digitalization and ongoing globalization, Latin American countries are striving more than ever to become part of the global economy.
Prominent Players Focus on Innovative Products and Technology Related to Container Tanks
The market is identified as a highly competitive market with the presence of multiple players operating at a global level as well as certain regions where the domestic players have a substantial position in the market share.
An Infographic Representation of ISO Container Market
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The market research report provides a detailed analysis of the type, end-use industry, and transport mode. It provides information of the leading companies and their business overview, types, and leading end-use industries. Besides, it offers insights into the competitive landscape, SWOT analysis, current market trends, and highlights key drivers and restraints. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the market's growth in recent years.
Volume (Thousand Unit)
By Transport Mode, Container Type, End-use Industry, and Region
By Transport Mode
By Container Type
By End-use Industry
Fortune Business Insights says that the market was valued at 686.6 thousand units in 2021.
In 2029, the market is expected to be valued at 1,362.4 thousand units.
The global market is estimated to have a noteworthy CAGR of 9.0% during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is expected to hold a considerable market share. The region stood at 291.9 thousand units in 2021.
Within the container type segment, multi-compartment tank is expected to be the leading segment during the forecast period.
Rise in demand for oil and gas exports will contribute to market growth.
Intermodal Tank Transport, Bertschi AG, Bulkhaul Limited, Royal Den Hartogh Logistics, HOYER GmbH, Interflow TCS Ltd., New Port Tank, Sinochain Logistics Co., Ltd, Stolt-Nielsen Limited, and VTG Tanktainer GmbH are the top companies.
Petrochemicals end-use industry is expected to drive the market.
The major players in the market constitute approximately 39%-41% of the market, which is majorly owed to their brand image and presence in multiple regions.
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