Containers of 45 feet is used primarily for international cargoes in Norway. These containers have the same pallet capacity as a euro-trailer (semi-trailer). Until 2015, the 45 ft segment has been a strongly rising segment with 25 % growth, while in 2015 the growth was reduced.
Continued strong growth
In total 37,000 loaded containers of 45 ft containers was carried to and from Norway and domestically. The increase in number of loaded units was 7 % compared to 2015. For comparison, growth from 2013 to 2014 by 21 %. Nearly all the cargo is foreign, of which imports accounted to 76 % in 2015. The share of empty containers was 36 % of the total handled.
Chart: Number 45 ft containers with or without cargo loaded and unloaded in Norwegian ports for foreign and domestic cargo.
The major players in this market in Norway are Unifeeder, Samskip, DFDS Logistics and NCL (North * Sea Container Line). Tschudi Line was a major player until Q3 2015 when they were acquired by and included in Unifeeder. Tchudi Line had specialized in 45 ft containers and used Drammen as its main port. This operation continues in Unifeeder.
In TEU the annual volume of loaded 45 ft containers represents 83,000 TEU (2.25 TEU / container). This is 16% of the total volume of loaded containers at 515,000 TEU in 2015.
In addition to the growth in 45 ft containers there has also been a good growth of European cargo in 20 and 40 ft containers. Many of the feeder operators offer this. The volume is uncertain because of the lack of distinction between feeder and European cargo in our statistics. But in sum this means that the growth in the volume of European cargo is probably higher than the growth for 45 ft containers for 2015.
Three major ports
The three major ports that are active in the market for 45 ft containers are Moss, Oslo and Drammen. Most of the cargo are imported from Europe, mainly the Netherlands. Outside these ports, Kristiansand is particularly large on export and shows good growth.
Also on the west coast 45 ft containers are offered. The main players here are Samskip with one own ship and NCL who has numerous feeder ship that also carry 45 ft containers.
Chart: Number of loaded 45 ft containers by port. Quarterly development of unloading and loading units. Foreign and domestic cargo.
Most arrive from the Netherlands
In 2015 82 % of the loaded 45 ft units came from Rotterdam in the Netherlands or were sent there. Britain, Germany and Poland accounted for only 5% each, while the rest were shipped domestically in Norway. Britain and Poland are relatively new market areas under development. It is very interesting to see if 45-feeter gets a foothold here.
Chart: Number of 45 ft containers with cargo distributed by origin and destination in Europe. * The figure for K4=Q4 are estimates due to missing data. Source: Eurostat.
Domestic volumes of 45 ft containers are weak, but in this segment there is a great potential for players who are willing to take the risk on coastal containers as an alternative to trucking.
Increase relative to RoRo
45 feet containers compete directly with trucks for European cargo. The container are also an alternative to cargo in semi-trailers on a RoRo ship or a ferry.
Fortunately, growth in 45 ft containers does not give a corresponding drop in RoRo shipments. While loaded 45 ft containers amounted to 34,000 units in 2015 for international traffic, 29,000 loaded unaccompanied trailers were shipped on ferries and 15,000 on RoRo ships. The RoRo volumes were stable compared to the previous year.
By ferry trailers are mainly shipped over short distance except between Germany and Oslo, where 12,000 unaccompanied trailers where handled. Between Hirtshals and Stavanger and Bergen 3,000 unaccompanied trailers were transported.
Chart: Number of cargo units with cargo by load unit and ship type.
The above volumes compares to 172,000 accompanied trailers carried on ferry, essentially to and from North Jutland. Most of these were shipped to Kristiansand, Langesund and Larvik. But also the volume to Stavanger and Bergen has increased on the recently new route of Fjord Line.
The below map shows all ports in Norway. Click on map to find your route.