Evergreen Marine Corporation’s container leasing and warehousing subsidiary, Evergreen International Storage & Transport Corporation (EITC), will order another 18,000 containers from its Malaysian factory, Evergreen Heavy Industrial Corp (M) Berhad, spending TW$1.93 billion (US$693 million).
EITC had ordered 15,300 containers in April 2020 after observing a growing shortage of equipment. All containers were leased to Evergreen, its largest customer.
There is an acute shortage of containers in Asia, as empty containers have been slow to return to the ports of origin from North America. This was due to Transpacific rates hitting a 10-year high in September and lower backhaul volumes.
Its observation of the industry trend enabled Evergreen to pre-empt the container crunch and the company was not as badly affected by the equipment shortage as compared with its peers.
In January, Evergreen itself announced plans to order more than 52,000 containers for over US$45 million, after placing some orders in December 2020.
With sufficient equipment, Evergreen was able to take advantage of the unprecedented spike in freight rates during Q3 2020, enabling the Taiwanese liner operator to achieve a net profit of TW$12.6 billion (US$434.11 million) in the first nine months of 2020. This was a substantial increase from TW$103.74 million (US$3.34 million) a year-ago.