Container Ship Prices

Transporting the majority of export goods produced by small industry around the world, they are some of the most common marine vessels spotted on the open ocean thus making container ship prices relatively high compared to other vessels.

The same way we find new and used automobiles for sale we can find ships for sale. Second hand ships are put on sale for many different reasons but the main reason is due to their owners running in to financial crisis and another major reason is when the ship has passed its life expectancy and is due for retirement. Retirement of marine vessels does not happen soon and many vessels have been sailing for decades and have not been retired as yet.

Some companies will sell these vessels after their expected lifetime maturity and buy new vessels. In turn they will be bought by smaller shipping companies who don’t have enough resources to purchase a new vessel but can afford to buy a second hand one and provide high standards of maintenance to it. Vessel prices also depend on the manufacturing company, size and condition of the vessels at the time of sale.

Below I will give you some estimates of new and used container ship prices as of 8th July 2011. These prices have been sourced from different ship selling companies indicating the average prices:

Used container ships

Depending on the size and manufacture date containers carriers range between 5-30 million US dollars. The better condition the vessel is in, the higher the price; wear as the size also matters with bigger vessels fetching higher prices. The vessels previous usage and destinations also contribute towards the price with ships on harsher routes like the Antarctic fetching lower prices, they fetch lower prices since they are frequently used for breaking ice and may have been damaged in the process.

New container ships

Again depending on the size they range between 10 million and a whopping 75 million for a new container ship. Unlike automobiles marine cargo carrier prices don’t vary according to the manufacturing country. The main reason for this is- there is a standardized material quality code that must be used to manufacture marine vessels. This makes ship manufacturing almost the same cost around the world with the only difference in cost being registered due to labor prices in different nations.

Vessel purchases

Due to the extraordinary prices ships cost, most small shipping companies cannot afford to purchase new vessels and the new vessels are always ordered by multimillion dollar shipping companies. A survey conducted showed that used ship prices cost 15-20% lower than its original price. The survey also showed that most of the marine vessel purchases done are on used vessels. They sometimes change 2-4 different owners before being retired to the scrap yard. Even during the retirement a container ship could fetch a staggering amount of money considering it is being sold as scrap metal.

Beyond the ordinary mans scope of vision, container ship prices have always been high and continue to rise due to ever increasing raw material cost, but they will continue being manufactured as they are a life line to the delivery of most bulk manufactured products around the world.


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