Excerpt from Angelo Mathais  theloadstar


With the pressure on equipment capacity showing no sign of abating, freight forwarders are increasingly turning to “shipper-owned containers (SOCs)” to minimize the risk associated with port congestion and potential penalties, amid Covid-induced supply chain dysfunction.
The top 50 forwarders accepting SOC requests had risen sequentially from 6% in 2019 to 18 % in 2021, a three-fold change.

SOCs are the units typically placed by a shipper with the container line for cargo booked by them directly, or through a forwarding agent. These boxes come in the form of outright ownerships or leased arrangements.

“18% of the companies that were tested were able to organize the SOC move and source the containers without any restrictions,”  This figure was 10% in its 2020 survey.

The marketplace, however, noted that although the demand for SOC units is growing, these forwarders continue to have difficulty sufficiently fulfilling shipper requisitions on the some lanes, including China.

Forwarders are increasingly positive about SOCs, but are also skeptical of the success of processes around them.
SOC increases reliability for empty container availability. The downside is that you need a dedicated team/person to manage these shipments.

While we also load COC (carrier-owned container) containers, we have noticed a recent increase for SOC-related requests.
The availability of equipment has been a daunting challenge for stakeholders in the supply chain, after cargo demand across trades had spiked stronger than expected.