container leasing explained

What is Container Leasing?

Container Leasing companies lease shipping containers or manage fleets for investors. Their operations include acquisition, leasing, re-leasing and sale of intermodal containers as well as buy and sell activities. Such firms own approximately 52% of global equipment and account for 55% of newly built container purchases in 2017. Leasing a container makes sense for shipping lines to increase flexibility, save storage fees and avoid maintenance costs. For 2017, container lessors have been the best-performing industry for all transports with Triton, Textainer and CAI standing out of the rest with a growth of around 200% compared to 2016 that outperforms every other transport company. There are only 13 global container leasing companies of substance as the market has matured rapidly over the past years. From a service-oriented small-scale industry, it has become a global battlefield!

 Top 10 Container Leasing Companies

1TRITON International
2Florens Container Leasing
3Textainer Group
4Seaco Global
5Seacube Containers
6CAI International
7Beacon Intermodal
8Touax Container Solutions
9Blue Sky Intermodal
10CARU Containers

… ranked in order of TEU capacity of their fleet as at December 2014 with consolidated data to reflect the merger of Triton Container and TAL International in 2016 and HNAs acquisition of Seaco and Cronos in 2015. The numbers might have slightly changed, while the list of top 10 container leasing companies stayed the same until now.

 

TRITON International

Triton International is the largest lessor of intermodal containers with headquarters on the Bermuda Islands and revenue of $1.46bn in 2018. They have a fleet capacity of more than 6.0 million TEUs and operate an extensive global infrastructure with offices 23 offices in 16 countries that allows them to operate with the lowest cost ratios in the industry. From Dry Containers, Reefers, Flat Racks and Open Tops to Chassis and container equipment Triton offers almost everything. Triton offers access to more than 400 container depots across 45 countries worldwide and they claim they are at pole position with each of the top five carriers. Apart from their core business, they support Doctors without Borders and many different local activities.

 

Florens Container Leasing

 With more than 30 years in the container industry, Florens operates a fleet of 3.7 million TEUs available for the shipping community with a huge variety of dry, refrigerated and special equipment. With headquarters in Hong Kong they serve a network of offices in America, Europe and Asia with 160 employees. Florens is a wholly-owned subsidiary of COSCO and has a utilization rate of 98,8%. All top 30 shipping lines are their clients with Maersk having the biggest share followed by MSC and COSCO.

 

Textainer Group

Operating since 1979, Textainer is one of the largest container leasing companies with headquarters on the Bermuda Islands and more than 3.0 million TEUs in their own and managed fleet. 174 employees work in 14 offices around the world with access to 500 depots covering all time zones and revenue of $660.75 million. Their main business includes standard, specialized and refrigerated containers as well as tank containers and a largest resale unit. They purchase more than 140,000 units per years and work with most of the biggest shipping lines. In addition to their main activities, they’re a proud partner of the U.S. Military with the management of intermodal equipment for peacetime, disaster and humanitarian operations globally.

 

Seaco Global

Now part of the HNA Group, Seaco has one of the largest fleets of standard and specialized shipping containers in the world.  They run operations with 23 sales and support offices, serving over 750 customers, supported by and independent depot network in more than 175 port locations worldwide. Seaco is owned by HNA that planned to sell the container lessor for more than $1 billion according to Bloomberg but plans to keep the business now. Their revenue is estimated to be $732.39 million in 2018. Seaco supports diversity projects to relief poverty, improve health and advance education around the globe.

 

Seacube Containers

Seacube Container Leasing is the global leader in refrigerated equipment with headquarters in the United States with offices in Europe, America and Asia. Seacube buys, sells, manages and leases intermodal shipping containers and owns approx. 1.2 million TEUs. You can find their depot list here.  Founded in 2012 they raised $95 million during their IPO and now Seacube has a market share of approx. 6%.

 

CAI International

 Founded 1989 in San Francisco, CAI International is a one stop solution for transportation needs covering intermodal containers for every transport mode. Container Applications International (API) owns 1.5 million standard and special containers around the world and offer leasing, equipment, container sales to their customers with a focus on North America and more than 100 employees.

 

Beacon Intermodal  

Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and founded in 2008, Beacon Intermodal Leasing is part of Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance. More than 60 employees in 11 offices manage a container fleet of 1.3 million TEUs in more than 180 port locations worldwide. Beacon Intermodal is a full-service leasing company offering services that include leasing, resale and asset management to its customers.

 

Touax Container Solutions

 With a focus on Europe, Touax Container Solutions has a fleet of 650,000 TEUs and a global market share of 3.8%. Being part of the TOUAX Group, they offer standard and special containers for sale or lease.

 

Blue Sky Intermodal

Blue Sky Intermodal is a container leasing company with headquarters in the UK, providing containers and equipment on operating and finance leases to the container industry. They also sell new and used containers globally for use in secondary and domestic markets.

 

CARU Containers  

CARU Containers trade and lease new and used shipping containers across the globe, operating from 8 offices headquartered in the Netherlands. CARU was born in 2000 from a merger between CATU Rotterdam Tade Craft and Lease Craft. Caru makes buying and leasing containers a pleasure through their simple and transparent approach in their online shop.

 

  

Alternatives to container leasing

With Container xChange, we offer on-demand flexible leasing for companies that have a short-term demand and need extra flexibility. We connect more than 300 container owners and suppliers on our neutral online platform and help you find equipment and new partners for one way moves. Just type in your pick-up and drop-off location and get a list of potential partners that can help you out!