Others are discovering that they can dump steel by making it into containers. While the Vietnamese steelmaker Hoa Phat mentioned in the article won’t be a large percentage of the demand, it’s significant.
And since more goods are now being exported from Vietnam compared to before the Chinese lockdowns, supplying new containers on the spot may be a better option than moving them from the US and other places.
This means there will be a glut of containers in importing countries. The only option may be to scrap them when they arrive. Ocean carriers and shippers will prefer to buy new containers at the exporting site rather than shift the old empty ones back for more cargo, at present fuel prices and increasing pollution and crew charges.
It’s a real waste to scrap the containers if they are used only once. While steel is recyclable, it’s a torturous road, and we aren’t set up to do it at scale. And a tremendous waste of effort.
All are examples of exogenous charges, as the economists say. They are not factored into the original price of shipping the goods, so they aren’t paid by the shipper. They also aren’t paid by the carrier. They instead erode the general welfare of the communities who have to deal with the empties. It’s a classic scenario in sustainability.
By Martina Li in Taiwan 04/04/2022Vietnam steel giant Hoa Phat moves into container manufacturing – The Loadstar