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German liner operator Hapag Lloyd has taken steps to alleviate the container shortage with what it says is one of its largest investments to date.

On top of the pandemic and delayed shipments due to port congestion, shippers and forwarders worldwide have had to cope with an added complication: a shortage of boxes to ship their goods. Because boxes are turning slower, shipping companies need more than the normal number of containers to carry the same volume.

Hapag-Lloyd has placed another big order for containers –as it did in 2020 in its initial response to the pandemic. In fact, with a combined investment volume of roughly $550 million, this is one of the biggest container orders that Hapag-Lloyd has ever made.

Some of the 150,000teu of standard dry and state-of-the-art reefer boxes have already been delivered this year and integrated into Hapag-Lloyd’s container fleet. But the majority of these boxes will be delivered by Chinese manufacturers in the months ahead and before the end of 2021. The company has also ordered 8,000teu of special containers to be used for over-sized and dangerous goods.

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