Container Transport Costs

Container Transport Costs

Source: Stopford, M. (2002) Is the Drive For Ever Bigger Containerships Irresistible?, Lloyds List Shipping Forecasting Conference.

The costs of moving a container along a transport chain fall into five major categories:

  • Ship (23%) charges that are reflecting the shipping line operating expenses, capital costs, and bunker fuel. This share diminishes with economies of scale, implying that larger containerships have lower operating costs per unit of capacity.
  • The costs related to the containers (18%) including leasing and maintenance costs. Containers are usually leased on a daily basis.
  • Ports and terminals charges (21%), including stevedoring.
  • Inland transport (25%) costs, including trucking and rail.
  • Other costs, including container repositioning (13%).

Overall, inland transportation, including port costs, account for about 54% of all container costs.