State of the Global Tank Container Industry

The most recent publication of the International Tank Container Organisation (ITCO) and the Shanghai Maritime University describes the state of the global tank container industry in 2019. The ITCO Global Tank Container Survey 2019 is a result of research under tank container operators, leasing companies and several industry experts.

We broke down the key figures and created an infographic for an overview of the state of the global tank container industry at the beginning of 2019.

Key takeaways:

  • ITCO 2019 survey reveals an industry growth of 10.8% in 2018.
  • Global tank container fleet reaches 604,700.
  • Tank container operators have a total of 381,750 tanks in their fleets.
  • The top 10 operators account for over 226,000 tanks representing 59% of the global operators’ fleet.
  • Tank container leasing companies have a total combined fleet of 286,000 tanks.
  • The top 10 lessors account for 227,500 tanks. This represents about 82% of the total leasing fleet.
  • The top 3 leasing companies account for 149,000 tanks or 54% of the total lessors' fleet.
  • In 2018, the combined number of tank containers produced by all of the world’s manufacturers totalled 59,700 new units.
  • The top 5 tank container manufacturers represent 87% of global tanks manufactured.

Tank container operators are 3PL companies that provide door-to-door service to shippers and others that require transport of bulk liquids, powders or gases.

Tank container leasing companies/lessors provide tank containers to operators, cargo owners/shippers and others, usually on a contractual term basis, where the lessee takes quiet possession and operates that tank as if it were owned.

Global tank container fleet (January 2019)

The ITCO reports that the total number of operator tanks (owned & leased-in) is 381,750 and leasing company tank containers is 286,000.
243,200 of the lessor's tanks are estimated to be on lease to operators, shippers and others and 15% is idle.
The total amount of tank containers owned and leased by shippers/cargo owners is estimated at 180,165.
Adding an estimated amount of 59,700 manufactured tanks and 7,000 disposals.
The grand total of global tank containers (Operators fleets + Lessors "idle tanks" + Cargo Owners Tanks) calculated and estimated by the ITCO is 604,700.

Read the original publication by the ITCO (Link below) for more detailed information about the used calculations and estimations.

Infographic State of the Global Tank Container Industry

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Data source: International Tank Container Organisation (ITCO) Global Tank Container Survey 2019
Shanghai Maritime University, China
March 2019

Original publication: ITCO 2019 Global Tank Container Survey
ITCO website:

Published on 2019-03-14 at 10:15 by

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