The study examines the extent to which containerization has spread, both geographically and in terms of commodities moving in containers. Penetration by U.S. carriers in the container market is explored and load factors on major trade routes are estimated. The relationship between load factor and unit cost is investigated and conclusions derived as to the competitive abilities of U.S. container carriers. Among the conclusions reached in the study are: (1) Containerized service in international trade has grown about 140% from 1969 through 1972, with varying growth patterns in different areas and varying penetration in different commodities; (2) Containerization has a relatively lower penetration in Southern and Gulf Coast states, reflecting a potential market opportunity; (3) U.S. container carriers are a formidable force in the containerized market and an impressive share of the market has been obtained by U.S. firms; (4) Higher load factors appear to be achieved by U.S. carriers; (5) Historical and present load factor data do not support the need for the North Atlantic pooling agreement; (6) Container carrying capacity now on order or under construction will add about 18% to existing capacity; (7) U.S. container carriers appear to be the low cost competitors on several important trading routes; and (8) Discriminatory pricing is a natural result of container carrier cost/revenue/volume relationships. The commercial development program in MarAd can play a very significant role in improving the productivity of U.S. ocean shipping. Small increases in carrier load factor have a great effect on reducing unit cost. By assisting in developing new traffic opportunities, MarAd can help U.S. container carriers continue to maintain their presently competitive position. The importance of this assistance is accentuated by the adverse effect that additional capacity about to enter the container market will have on carrier load factors over the next several years.

  • Corporate Authors:

    McCaul (JR) and Associates

  • Publication Date: 1974-4

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00054224
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Maritime Research Center, Kings Point
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NMRC-KP-109
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 7 1974 12:00AM