|Growing availability of containers||More containers available on freight markets. Ubiquitous transport product.|
|Rising demand and commodity prices||More commodities in circulation (usage of containerization to accommodate growth).
New producers and consumers (marginal markets penetration).
|Volatility and rises in bulk shipping rates||Decrease in the ratio cargo value per ton shipping rate for commodities.
Volatility (rates) and risk (hedging).
Search for options to bulk shipping.
|Low container shipping rates||Increase in the cargo value per TEU shipping.
Relative rate stability.
|Imbalances in container shipping rates||Export subsidy for return cargo.|
|Empty containers repositioning||Pools of containers available for backhauls.|
|Processing||Processing close to production favors a shift from bulk to containerized shipping.|
The above table underlines the main factors behind the containerization of commodities. Depending on the circumstances and the commodity trade involved, each factor plays a different role. For instance, in the United States, imbalances in container shipping rates have favored the export of low value commodities (e.g. waste paper) across the Pacific.