20171231 10K FY

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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2017

 or

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the Transition Period from                     to

Commission file number:  001-33388

 

 





CAI International, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 





 



 

 

 Delaware

 

94-3109229

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)

 

 

 

Steuart Tower

 

 

1 Market Plaza, Suite 900 San Francisco, California

 

94105

(Address of principal executive office)

 

(Zip Code)



(415) 788-0100

(Registrant’s telephone number including area code)



Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 



 

 

Title of each class

 

Name of exchange on which registered

Common Stock, par value $0.0001 per share

 

New York Stock Exchange



Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None



Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.   Yes    No



Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.   Yes    No



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirement for the past 90 days.   Yes    No



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes    No

 

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Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.   



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,”  and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act

 



 

 Large accelerated filer   

Accelerated filer   

Non-accelerated filer     

Smaller reporting company    

(Do not check if smaller reporting company)

Emerging growth company    



If emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. 



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in the Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes    No



As of June 30, 2017, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the aggregate market value of common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant (based upon the closing sale price of such shares on the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, 2017) was approximately $274.9 million. Shares of registrant’s common stock held by each executive officer, director and beneficial holders of 10% or more of our common stock have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates of the registrant. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.



As of January 31, 2018, there were 20,490,622  shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE



Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement relating to the registrant’s 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which will be filed no later than 120 days after the close of the registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, are incorporated by reference into Part III hereof.

 







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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017

 





 

 

PART I

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

Business

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

14 

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

32 

Item 2.

Properties

32 

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

33 

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

33 

 

 

 

PART II

 

   

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

34 

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

36 

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

39 

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

52 

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

53 

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

53 

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

53 

Item 9B.

Other Information

56 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

56 

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

56 

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

56 

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

56 

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

56 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

57 

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

57 



   

SIGNATURES

91 

 







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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS



This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains certain forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements concerning the conditions in our industry, our operations, our economic performance and financial condition, including, in particular, statements relating to our business, operations, and growth strategy and service development efforts. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a “safe harbor” for certain forward-looking statements so long as such information is identified as forward-looking and is accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the information. When used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the words “may,” “might,” “should,” “estimate,” “project,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “intend,” “outlook,” “believe” and other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. These forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions by our management that, although we believe to be reasonable, are inherently uncertain and subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, those identified under the caption Item 1A. “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and our other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law. Reference is also made to such risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in our filings with the SEC.

Unless the context requires otherwise, references to “CAI,” the Company, “we,” “us” or “our” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K refer to CAI International, Inc. and its subsidiaries.







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 PART I



ITEM 1: BUSINESS



Our Company

We are one of the world’s leading transportation finance and logistics companies. We purchase equipment,  primarily intermodal shipping containers and railcars, which we lease to our customers. We also manage equipment for third-party investors. In operating our fleet, we lease, re-lease and dispose of equipment and contract for the repair, repositioning and storage of equipment.  We also provide domestic and international logistics services, through our subsidiaries, CAI Logistics Inc. (CAI Logistics), Challenger Overseas LLC and Hybrid Logistics, Inc.

The following table shows the composition of our fleet as of December 31, 2017 and our average utilization for the year ended December 31, 2017:





 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 



As of

 

Percent of



December 31,

 

Total



2017

 

Container Fleet

Owned container fleet in TEUs

 

1,146,268 

 

 

93% 

Managed container fleet in TEUs

 

80,736 

 

 

7% 

Total container fleet in TEUs

 

1,227,004 

 

 

100% 



 

 

 

 

 

Owned container fleet in CEUs

 

1,209,209 

 

 

94% 

Managed container fleet in CEUs

 

73,530 

 

 

6% 

Total container fleet in CEUs

 

1,282,739 

 

 

100% 



 

 

 

 

 

Owned railcar fleet in units

 

7,172 

 

 

 







 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

Year Ended



 

 

 

December 31,



 

 

 

2017

Average container fleet utilization in CEUs

 

 

 

 

97.4% 

Average owned container fleet utilization in CEUs

 

 

 

 

97.6% 

Average railcar fleet utilization

 

 

 

 

90.0% 



The intermodal marine container industry-standard measurement unit is the 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU), which compares the size of a container to a standard 20-foot container. For example, a 20-foot container is equivalent to one TEU and a 40-foot container is equivalent to two TEUs. Containers can also be measured in cost equivalent units (CEUs), whereby the cost of each type of container is expressed as a ratio relative to the cost of a standard 20-foot dry van container. For example, the CEU ratio for a standard 40-foot dry van container is 1.6, and a 40-foot high cube container is 1.7. 

Utilization of containers is computed by dividing the average total units on lease during the period in CEUs, by the average total CEUs in our container fleet during the period. Utilization of railcars is computed by dividing the average number of railcars on lease during the period by the average total number of railcars in our fleet during the period. In both cases, the total fleet excludes new units not yet leased and off-hire units designated for sale. If new units not yet leased are included in the total fleet, total container fleet utilization would be 96.4%, owned container fleet utilization would be 96.5%, and railcar fleet utilization would be 78.3%, for the year ended December 31, 2017.

Our revenue consists of container lease revenue and rail lease revenue from our owned container and railcar fleets, management fee revenue for managing containers for third-party investors and logistics revenue for the provision of logistics services.  Substantially all of our revenue is denominated in U.S. dollars. For the year ended December 31, 2017, we recorded revenue of $348.4 million and net income attributable to CAI common stockholders of $72.1 million.  A comparison of our 2017 financial results with those of the prior years can be found in Item 6. Selected Financial Data of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

We earn container lease revenue from intermodal containers which are deployed by our customers in a wide variety of global trade routes.  Virtually all of our containers are used internationally and no container is domiciled in one particular place for a prolonged period of time. As such, substantially all of our container assets are considered to be international with no single country of use. Our railcars are used by lessees on railroads in North America. Our logistics business provides both domestic and international logistics services. 

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History

We were founded in 1989, as a traditional container leasing company that leased containers owned by us to container shipping lines. We were originally incorporated under the name Container Applications International, Inc. in the State of Nevada in August 1989. In February 2007, we were reincorporated under our present name in the State of Delaware.

In December 2011, we formed CAI Rail Inc. (CAI Rail), as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the CompanyCAI Rail purchases and leases our fleet of railcars in North America.    

In July 2015, we purchased CAI Logistics (previously ClearPointt Logistics LLC), an intermodal logistics company focused on the domestic intermodal market, for approximately $4.1 million.  CAI Logistics is headquartered in Everett, Washington.

In February 2016, we purchased Challenger Overseas, LLC (Challenger), a Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC), for approximately $10.8 million. Challenger is headquartered in Eatontown, New Jersey.

In June 2016, we purchased Hybrid Logistics, Inc. and its affiliate General Transportation Services, Inc. (collectively, Hybrid), asset light truck brokers, for approximately $12.0 million. Hybrid is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

Corporate Information

Our corporate headquarters and principal executive offices are located at Steuart Tower, 1 Market Plaza, Suite 900, San Francisco, California 94105. Our telephone number is (415) 788-0100 and our website address is http://www.capps.com. We operate our business in 23 offices in 14 countries including the United States, and have agents in Asia, Europe, South Africa,  and South America. Our wholly-owned international subsidiaries are located in the United Kingdom, Japan, Malaysia, Sweden, Germany, Singapore, Luxembourg, Australia, Chile, South Korea, Barbados and Bermuda. 

Segment Information

We organize our business by the nature of services we provide and separate our business into three reportable segments: container leasing, rail leasing and logistics. 

The container leasing segment derives its revenue from the ownership and leasing of containers and fees earned for managing container portfolios on behalf of third party investors. The rail leasing segment derives its revenue from the ownership and leasing of railcars. The logistics segment derives its revenue from the provision of logistics services. There are no significant inter-segment revenues.

The operating results of each segment and details of our revenues for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, and information regarding the geographic areas in which we do business are summarized in Note 17 to our consolidated financial statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Industry Overview

Container Leasing

We operate in the worldwide intermodal freight container leasing industry. Intermodal freight containers, or containers, are large, standardized steel boxes used to transport cargo by a number of means, including ship, truck and rail. Container shipping lines use containers as the primary means for packaging and transporting freight internationally, principally from export-oriented economies in Asia to other Asian countries, North America and Western Europe.

Containers are built in accordance with standard dimensions and weight specifications established by the International Standards Organization (ISO). Standard dry van containers are eight feet wide, either 20 or 40 feet long and are either 8 feet 6 inches or 9 feet 6 inches tall.

The three principal categories of containers are as follows:

Dry van containers. A  dry van container is constructed of steel sides, roof and end panel with a set of doors on the other end, a wooden floor and a steel undercarriage. Dry van containers are the least expensive and most commonly used type of container. Dry van containers comprise approximately 90% of the worldwide container fleet, as measured in TEUs. They are used to carry general cargo, such as manufactured component parts, consumer staples, electronics and apparel.

Refrigerated containers. A refrigerated container has an integrated refrigeration unit on one end which plugs into a generator set or other outside power source and is used to transport perishable goods.

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Specialized equipment. Specialized equipment includes open-top, flat-rack, palletwide and swapbody containers, roll trailers, and generator sets. An open-top container is similar in construction to a dry van container except that the roof is replaced with a tarpaulin supported by removable roof bows. A flat-rack container is a heavily reinforced steel platform with a wood deck and steel end panels. Open-top and flat-rack containers are generally used to move heavy or oversized cargo, such as marble slabs, building products or machinery. Palletwide containers are a type of dry-van container externally similar to ISO standard containers, but internally about two inches wider so as to accommodate two European-sized pallets side-by-side. Swapbody containers are a type of dry van container designed to be easily transferred between rail, truck, and barge and are equipped with legs under their frames. Roll trailers are a type of flat-bed trailer equipped with rubber wheels underneath for terminal haulage and stowage on board roll-on/roll-off vessels.



Containers provide a secure and cost-effective method of transportation because they can be used in multiple modes of transportation, making it possible to move cargo from a point of origin to a final destination without repeated unpacking and repacking. As a result, containers reduce transit time and freight and labor costs as they permit faster loading and unloading of shipping vessels and more efficient utilization of transportation containers than traditional bulk shipping methods. The protection provided by containers also reduces damage, loss and theft of cargo during shipment. While the life of containers varies based upon the damage and normal wear and tear suffered by a  container, we estimate that the average useful life of a dry van container used in our fleet is 13.0 years.

Container shipping lines own and lease containers for their use. Based on container fleet information reported by Harrison Consulting, transportation companies (including container shipping lines and freight forwarders) own approximately 50% of the total worldwide container fleet and container leasing companies own approximately 50% of the total worldwide container fleet based on TEUs. Given the uncertainty and variability of export volumes and the fact that container shipping lines have difficulty in accurately forecasting their container requirements at different ports, the availability of containers for lease significantly reduces a container shipping line’s need to purchase and maintain excess container inventory. In addition, container leases allow the container shipping lines to adjust their container fleets both seasonally and over time and help to balance trade flows. The flexibility offered by container leasing helps container shipping lines improve their overall fleet management and provides the container shipping lines with an alternative source of financing. 

Fleet Overview. The table below summarizes the composition of our container fleet as of December 31, 2017 by type of equipment:





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Dry Van

 

Percent of

 

Refrigerated

 

Percent of

 

Specialized

 

Percent of

 

 

 

Percent of



Containers

 

Total Fleet

 

Containers

 

Total Fleet

 

Equipment

 

Total Fleet

 

Total

 

Total Fleet

Owned container fleet in TEUs

1,035,460 

 

84% 

 

52,849 

 

4% 

 

57,959 

 

5% 

 

1,146,268 

 

93% 

Managed container fleet in TEUs

78,746 

 

6% 

 

576 

 

0% 

 

1,414 

 

1% 

 

80,736 

 

7% 

Total container fleet in TEUs

1,114,206 

 

90% 

 

53,425 

 

4% 

 

59,373 

 

6% 

 

1,227,004 

 

100% 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Dry Van

 

Percent of

 

Refrigerated

 

Percent of

 

Specialized

 

Percent of

 

 

 

Percent of



Containers

 

Total Fleet

 

Containers

 

Total Fleet

 

Equipment

 

Total Fleet

 

Total

 

Total Fleet

Owned container fleet in CEUs

919,084 

 

72% 

 

191,366 

 

14% 

 

98,759 

 

8% 

 

1,209,209 

 

94% 

Managed container fleet in CEUs

70,056 

 

5% 

 

2,016 

 

1% 

 

1,458 

 

0% 

 

73,530 

 

6% 

Total container fleet in CEUs

989,140 

 

77% 

 

193,382 

 

15% 

 

100,217 

 

8% 

 

1,282,739 

 

100% 



Marketing and Operations Overview. Our marketing and operations personnel are responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with our lessees, facilitating lease contracts and maintaining the day-to-day coordination of operational issues. This coordination allows us to negotiate lease contracts that satisfy both our financial return requirements and our lessees’ operating needs. It also facilitates our awareness of lessees’ potential equipment shortages and their awareness of our available equipment inventories. We  have marketing and operations employees in twelve countries, supported by independent agents in a further seven countries.

Leases Overview. To meet the needs of our lessees and achieve a favorable utilization rate, we lease containers under three main types of leases:

Long-Term Leases. Our long-term leases have terms of one year or more and specify the number of containers to be leased, the pick-up and drop-off locations, the applicable per diem rate and the contract term. We typically enter into long-term leases for a fixed term ranging from three to eight years, with five-year term leases being most common. Our long-term leases generally require our lessees to maintain all units on lease for the duration of the lease, which provides us with scheduled lease payments. A small percentage of our long-term leases contain an early termination option and afford the lessee interchangeability of containers,  and the ability to redeliver containers if the lessee’s fleet requirements change. Generally, leases with an early termination provision impose various economic penalties on the customer if the customer elects to exercise the early termination provision.



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Short-Term Leases. Short-term leases include both master interchange leases and customized short-term leases. Master interchange leases provide a master framework pursuant to which lessees can lease containers on an as-needed basis, and thus command a higher per diem rate than long-term leases. The terms of master interchange leases are typically negotiated on an annual basis. Under our master interchange leases, lessees know in advance their per diem rates and drop-off locations, subject to monthly port limits. We also enter into other short-term leases that typically have a term of less than one year and are generally used for one-way leasing, typically for small quantities of containers. The terms of short-term leases are customized for the specific requirements of the lessee. Short-term leases are sometimes used to reposition containers to high-demand locations and accordingly may contain terms that provide incentives to lessees.



Finance Leases. Finance leases provide our lessees with an alternative method to finance their container acquisitions. Finance leases are long-term in nature and require relatively little customer service attention. They ordinarily require fixed payments over a defined period and generally provide lessees with a right to purchase the leased containers for a nominal amount at the end of the lease term. Per diem rates under finance leases include an element of repayment of capital and, therefore, typically are higher than per diem rates charged under long-term leases. Finance leases require the container lessee to keep the container on lease for the entire term of the lease.



The following table provides a summary of our container fleet by lease type as of December 31, 2017:  





 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 



As of December 31, 2017



TEUs

 

CEUs

Long-term leases

 

71% 

 

 

72% 

Short-term leases

 

14% 

 

 

13% 

Finance leases

 

15% 

 

 

15% 

Total

 

100% 

 

 

100% 





Our lease agreements contain general terms and conditions detailing standard rights and obligations, including requirements that lessees pay a per diem rate, depot charges, taxes and other charges when due, maintain equipment in good condition, return equipment in good condition in accordance with return conditions set forth in the lease agreement, use equipment in compliance with all applicable laws, and pay us for the value of the equipment as determined by the lease agreement if the equipment is lost or destroyed. A default clause in our lease agreements gives us certain legal remedies in the event that an equipment lessee is in breach of lease terms.

Our lease agreements contain an exclusion of warranties clause and require lessees to defend and indemnify us in most instances from third-party claims arising out of the lessee’s use, operation, possession or lease of the equipment. Lessees are required to maintain physical damage and comprehensive general liability insurance, or be adequately self-insured, and to indemnify us against loss with respect to the equipment. We also maintain our own contingent physical damage and third-party liability insurance that covers our equipment during both on-lease and off-lease periods. All of our insurance coverage is subject to annual deductible provisions and per occurrence and aggregate limits.

Management Services Overview. We manage containers for third-party investors under management agreements that cover portfolios of containers. We lease, re-lease and dispose of the containers and contract for their repair, repositioning and storage. Our management agreements have multiple year terms and provide that we receive a management fee based upon the actual net operating income for each container, which is equal to the actual rental revenue for a container less the actual operating expenses directly attributable to that container. Management fees are collected monthly or quarterly, depending upon the agreement, and generally are not paid if net operating revenue is zero or less for a particular period. If operating expenses exceed revenue, third-party investors are required to pay the excess or we may deduct the excess, including our management fee, from future net operating revenue. Under these agreements, we also receive a commission for selling or otherwise disposing of containers for the third-party investor. Our management agreements generally require us to indemnify the third-party investor for liabilities or losses arising out of a breach of our obligations. In return, the third-party investor typically indemnifies us in our capacity as the manager of the container against a breach by the third-party investor, sales taxes on commencement of the arrangement, withholding taxes on payments to the third-party investor under the management agreement and any other taxes, other than our income taxes, incurred with respect to the containers that are not otherwise included as operating expenses deductible from revenue.

Re-leasing, Logistics Management and Depot Management. We believe that managing the period after lease termination, in particular after our containers’ first lease, is one of the most important aspects of our business. Successful management of this period requires disciplined re-leasing capabilities, logistics management and depot management.

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Re-leasing. Since our leases generally allow our lessees to return their containers, we typically lease a container several times during its useful life. New containers can usually be leased with a limited marketing and customer service infrastructure because initial leases for new containers typically cover large volumes of units and are fairly standardized transactions. Used containers, on the other hand, are typically leased in smaller transactions that are structured to accommodate pick-ups and returns in a variety of locations. Our utilization rates depend on our re-leasing abilities. Factors that affect our ability to re-lease used containers include the size of our lessee base, ability to anticipate lessee needs, our presence in relevant geographic locations and the level of service we provide our lessees. We believe that our global presence and long-standing relationships with more than 300 container lessees as of December 31, 2017 provide us an advantage over our smaller competitors in re-leasing our containers.



Logistics Management. The shipping industry is characterized by large regional trade imbalances, with loaded containers generally flowing from export-oriented economies in Asia to other Asian countries, North America and Western Europe. Because of these trade imbalances, container shipping lines have an incentive to return leased containers in relatively low export areas to reduce the cost of shipping empty containers. We have managed this structural imbalance of inventories with the following approach:



Limiting or prohibiting container returns to low-demand areas. In order to minimize our repositioning costs, our leases typically include a list of the specific locations to which containers may be returned, limitations on the number of containers that may be returned to low-demand locations, high drop-off charges for returning containers to low-demand locations or a combination of these provisions;



Taking advantage of the secondary resale market. In order to maintain a younger fleet age profile, we have aggressively sold older containers when they are returned to low demand areas;



Developing country-specific leasing markets to utilize older containers in the portable storage market. In North America and Western Europe, we lease on a limited basis older containers for use as portable storage;



Seeking one-way lease opportunities to move containers from lower demand locations to higher demand locations. One-way leases may include incentives, such as free days, credits and damage waivers. The cost of offering these incentives is considerably less than the cost we would incur if we paid to reposition the containers; and



Paying to reposition our containers to higher demand locations. At locations where our inventories remain high, despite the efforts described above, we will selectively choose to ship excess containers to locations with higher demand.



Depot Management. As of December 31, 2017, we managed our equipment fleet through 219 independent equipment depot facilities located in 45 countries. Depot facilities are generally responsible for repairing containers when they are returned by lessees and for storing the containers while they are off-hire. Our operations group is responsible for managing our depot contracts and periodically visiting depot facilities to conduct inventory and repair audits. We also supplement our internal operations group with the use of independent inspection agents. As of December 31, 2017, a majority of our off-lease inventory was located at depots that are able to report notices of container activity and damage detail via electronic data interchange, or EDI.

Most of the depot agency agreements follow a standard form and generally provide that the depot will be liable for loss or damage of containers and, in the event of loss or damage, will pay us the previously agreed loss value of the applicable containers. The agreements require the depots to maintain insurance against container loss or damage and we carry insurance to cover the risk that a depot’s insurance proves insufficient.

Our container repair standards and processes are generally managed in accordance with standards and procedures specified by the Institute of International Container Lessors, or the IICL. The IICL establishes and documents the acceptable interchange condition for containers and the repair procedures required to return damaged containers in acceptable interchange condition. When containers are returned by lessees, the depot arranges an inspection of the containers to assess the repairs required to return the containers to acceptable IICL condition. As part of the inspection process, damages are categorized either as lessee damage or normal wear and tear. Items typically designated as lessee damage include dents in the container, while items such as rust are typically designated as normal wear and tear. In general, lessees are responsible for the lessee damage portion of repair costs and we are responsible for normal wear and tear.

Customer Concentration. Revenue from our ten largest container lessees represented 65.8% of container leasing revenue for the year ended December 31, 2017, with revenue from our two largest lessees,  CMA CGM and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co, accounting for 15.9% and 14.7%, respectively, of container leasing revenue, or $37.5 million and $34.7 million, respectively.  The  $37.5 million and $34.7 million of revenue represented 10.8%  and 10.0%, respectively, of our total revenue for the period.

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Proprietary Real-time Information Technology System. Our proprietary real-time information technology system tracks all of our containers individually by container number, provides design specifications for the containers, tracks on-lease and off-lease transactions, matches each on-lease unit to a lease contract and each off-lease unit to a depot contract, maintains the major terms for each lease contract, tracks accumulated depreciation, calculates the monthly bill for each container lessee and tracks and bills for container repairs. Most of our depot activity is reported electronically, which enables us to prepare container lessee bills and calculate financial reporting information more efficiently.

In addition, our system allows our lessees to conduct business with us through the Internet. This allows our lessees to review our container inventories, monitor their on-lease information, view design specifications and receive information on maintenance and repair. Many of our lessees receive billing and on- and off- lease information from us electronically.

Our Suppliers. We purchase most of our containers in China from manufacturers that have met our qualification requirements. We are currently not dependent on any single manufacturer. We have long-standing relationships with all of our major container suppliers. Our technical services personnel review the designs for our containers and periodically audit the production facilities of our suppliers. In addition, we contract with independent third-party inspectors to monitor production at factories while our containers are being produced. This provides an additional layer of quality control and helps ensure that our containers are produced in accordance with our specifications.

Our Competition.  We compete primarily with other container leasing companies, including both larger and smaller lessors. We also compete with bank leasing companies offering long-term operating leases and finance leases, and container shipping lines, which sometimes lease their excess container inventory. Other participants in the shipping industry, such as container manufacturers, may also decide to enter the container leasing business. It is common for container shipping lines to utilize several leasing companies to meet their container needs and to minimize reliance on any one individual leasing company.

Our competitors compete with us in many ways, including pricing, lease flexibility, supply reliability, customer service and the quality and condition of containers. Some of our competitors have greater financial resources than we do, or are affiliates of larger companies. We emphasize the quality of our fleet, supply reliability and high level of customer service to our container lessees. We focus on ensuring adequate container availability in high-demand locations, dedicate large portions of our organization to building relationships with lessees, maintain close day-to-day coordination with lessees and have developed a proprietary information technology system that allows our lessees to access real-time information about their containers.

Seasonality.  We have historically experienced increased seasonal demand for containers in the second and third quarters of the year. However, equipment rental revenue may fluctuate significantly in future periods based upon the level of demand by container shipping lines for leased containers, our ability to maintain a high utilization rate of containers in our total fleet, and changes in per diem rates for leases.

Rail Leasing 

Fleet Overview.  We own a fleet of railcars of various types including: 50ft and 60ft box cars for paper and forest products; covered hoppers for grain, cement, sand, plastic pellets and many other industrial products; general purpose tank cars that are used to transport food-grade and other liquid and gaseous commodities; gondolas for coal and steel; and general service flat cars. We owned 7,172 railcars as of December 31, 2017.

In 2015 we entered into a multi-year railcar order (the "Agreement") with a railcar manufacturer. Under the Agreement, we committed to purchase 2,000 railcars of various types for use on the North American rail system, for a total investment expected to be in excess of $200 millionIn 2017, we entered into an amendment to the Agreement, by which we modified the type of railcars yet to be delivered as of the effective date of the amendment, reduced the overall baseline pricing and revised the amount and delivery dates for the various car types. As of December 31, 2017,  1,267 railcars had been delivered under the Agreement; the remaining 733 cars are to be delivered in 2018 at a cost of $78.5 million.

Overview of Our Leases.  We offer multiple lease options to our railcar customers, including full service leases, net operating leases and per diem leases. Our full service leases provide our customers with comprehensive management services including maintenance and the payment of taxes. Net operating leases allow customers to manage and pay the cost of operating and maintaining railcars themselves. Our per diem lease product enables customers to pay through a settlement process on an hourly and mileage basis.

Customer Concentration.  Our railcar customers are typically industrial companies who ship their products or raw materials by rail. Our customers are generally large, creditworthy, industrial companies.  Additionally, we work with a number of North American Class I Railroads and regional carriers. Revenue from our ten largest customers represented 47.8% of rail leasing revenue for the year ended December 31, 2017, with no single customer generating more than 10% of our rail leasing revenue.

Our Competition.  We function in a highly competitive marketplace that includes large and small operating lessors, financial institutions with passive leasing enterprises, captive leasing companies owned by  manufacturers and at times with shippers holding large and diverse fleets of railcars. We compete on the basis of customer relationships, lease rate, maintenance expertise, service capability and availability of railcars.

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Logistics 

Overview of Our Services. We offer comprehensive logistics services including intermodal, truck brokerage, port drayage, warehousing, international ocean freight and freight forwarding, as well as the arrangement and coordination of international air freight services and customs brokerage.  Through our network of transportation carriers and equipment providers, we arrange for the movement of our customers’ freight. We contract with railroads to provide transportation for the line-haul portion of the shipment and with local trucking companies, known as “drayage companies,” for pickup and delivery. We may also offer use of our own CAI equipment for domestic beneficial cargo owner (BCO) movements. As part of our intermodal and truck brokerage services, we negotiate and bundle rates for our customers, track shipments in transit, and facilitate the handling of claims for freight loss or damage on behalf of our customers. We also provide international export and import services for full container loads, less than container loads, perishable cargo, project cargo, and airfreight across the globe.

We have a network of logistics professionals dedicated to developing, implementing and operating customized logistics solutions. We offer a wide range of transportation management services and technology solutions including shipment optimization, load consolidation, mode selection, carrier management, load planning and execution and web-based shipment visibility.

Customer Concentration. We provide services to customers in a wide variety of industries, including consumer products, retail and durable goods. Revenue from our ten largest customers represented 39.7% of logistics revenue for the year ended December 31, 2017, with no single customer generating more than 10% of our logistics revenue.

Our Competition. The transportation services industry is highly competitive. We compete against other logistics companies, third party brokers, asset-backed trucking companies and shipping lines that market their own intermodal and international shipping services. Several large trucking companies have entered into agreements with railroads to market intermodal services nationwide. Competition is based primarily on freight rates, quality of services, reliability, transit time and scope of operations. We believe we have a strong competitive advantage being able to offer customers a variety of services under one organization. Few, if any, of our competitors can offer customers leasing of containers, sale of used containers, rail service, nationwide truck brokerage and international export/import services. This distinct advantage, along with the cross selling between all of our divisions, is expected to provide CAI with significant opportunities to increase market share.

Relationship with Railroads. A key element of our business strategy is to strengthen our close working relationship with the major railroads in the United States and Canada. Due to our size and relative importance, some railroads have dedicated support personnel to focus on our day-to-day service requirements. We have relationships with all seven of the Class 1 freight railroads, and our senior executives meet with each of the railroads on a regular basis to discuss major strategic issues concerning intermodal transportation.

Transportation rates are market driven. We sometimes negotiate with the railroads or other major service providers on a route or customer specific basis. Consistent with industry practice, some of the rates we negotiate are special commodity quotations (SCQs), which provide discounts from published price lists based on competitive market factors and are designed by the railroads or major service providers to attract new business or to retain existing business. SCQ rates are generally issued for the account of a single Intermodal Marketing Company (IMC). SCQ rates apply to specific customers in specified shipping lanes for a specific period of time, usually up to 12 months. Other transactional or spot market business is negotiated on a daily basis, dependent on capacity and dynamic pricing, consistent with existing market conditions. 

Relationship with Drayage Companies. We have a “Quality Drayage Program,” under which participants commit to provide high quality drayage service along with clean and safe equipment, maintain a defined on-time performance level and follow specified procedures designed to minimize freight loss and damage. We negotiate drayage rates for transportation between specific origin and destination points.

Relationship with Trucking Companies. Our truck brokerage operation has relationships with more than 14,000 trucking companies that we use to transport freight. Our truck brokerage operation handles the administrative and regulatory aspects of the trucking company relationship including an eight-step vetting process. Our relationships with these trucking companies are important since these relationships determine pricing, load coverage and overall service.

Relationship with Shipping Lines.  Our international division has relationships with every major shipping line providing a worldwide network of shipping options based on price and service for export and import cargoes. These relationships enable us to provide a basket of options that best suit the needs of our customers at any given moment. Supported by a world-wide agency network, we are able to provide the best price and service option anywhere in the world. Additional value and customized solutions can be accomplished by offering use of our own CAI equipment for domestic and international BCO movements.

Risk Management and Insurance. We require all drayage companies participating in our Quality Drayage Program to carry general liability insurance, truckman’s auto liability insurance and cargo insurance. Railroads, which are self-insured, provide limited cargo protection per shipment. To cover freight loss or damage our carriers are carefully vetted to ensure all cargo insurance requirements are in place and monitored. We also carry contingent cargo insurance to protect from any lapse in a carrier’s primary insurance. 

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Credit Control 

We provide services for container shipping lines, freight forwarders, railroads and other companies that meet our credit criteria. Our credit policy sets different maximum exposure limits depending on our relationship and previous experience with each customer. Credit criteria may include, but are not limited to, trade route, country, business climate, social and political climate, assessments of net worth, asset ownership, bank and trade credit references, credit bureau reports (including those from Dynamar), operational history and financial strength. We monitor our customers’ performance on an ongoing basis. Our credit control processes are aided by the long payment experience we have with most of our customers, our broad network of relationships that provide current information about our customers’ market reputations and our focus on collections.

Environmental Matters

We are subject to federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment, including those governing the discharge of pollutants to air and water, the management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes and the cleanup of contaminated sites. We could incur substantial costs, including cleanup costs, fines and third-party claims for property or natural resource damage and personal injury, as a result of violations of environmental laws and regulations in connection with our or our lessees’ current or historical operations. Under some environmental laws in the United States and certain other countries, the owner or operator of equipment may be liable for environmental damage, cleanup or other costs in the event of a spill or discharge of material from the equipment without regard to the fault of the owner or operator. While we typically maintain liability insurance coverage and typically require our lessees to provide us with indemnity against certain losses, the insurance coverage is subject to large deductibles, limits on maximum coverage and significant exclusions and may not be sufficient or available to protect against any or all liabilities and such indemnities may not cover or be sufficient to protect us against losses arising from environmental damage.    

Regulation

We are subject to regulations promulgated in various countries, including the United States, seeking to protect the integrity of international commerce and prevent the use of equipment for international terrorism or other illicit activities. For example, the Container Security Initiative, the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and Operation Safe Commerce are among the programs administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that are designed to enhance security for cargo moving throughout the international transportation system by identifying existing vulnerabilities in the supply chain and developing improved methods for ensuring the security of containerized cargo entering and leaving the United States. Moreover, the International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972, as amended, adopted by the International Maritime Organization, applies to new and existing containers and seeks to maintain a high-level of safety of human life in the transport and handling of containers by providing uniform international safety regulations. As these regulations develop and change, we may incur increased compliance costs due to the acquisition of new, compliant equipment and/or the adaptation of existing equipment to meet new requirements imposed by such regulations.

Our rail operations are subject to various laws, rules, and regulations administered by authorities in jurisdictions where we do business; the United States, Canada and Mexico. In the United States, for example, our railcar fleet is subject to safety, operations, maintenance, and mechanical standards, rules, and regulations enforced by various federal and state agencies and industry organizations, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Association of American Railroads. State agencies regulate some health and safety matters related to rail operations not otherwise preempted by federal law. As these regulations develop and change,  we may incur increased compliance costs due to additional maintenance or substantial modification or refurbishment of our railcars to meet new requirements imposed by such regulations. In addition, violations of these rules and regulations can result in substantial fines and penalties, including potential limitations on operations or forfeitures of assets.

Our domestic logistics business is licensed by the Department of Transportation as brokers in arranging for the transportation of general commodities by motor carriers and railroads. To the extent that we perform truck brokerage and intermodal services, we do so under these licenses. The Department of Transportation prescribes qualifications for acting in this capacity, including a surety bond that we have posted. To date, compliance with these regulations has not had a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition. However, the transportation industry is subject to legislative or regulatory changes that can affect the economics of the industry by requiring changes in operating practices or influencing the demand for, and cost of providing, transportation services. Our international freight forwarding business is regulated by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). We have our own tariff on file with the FMC and are required to have a bond for both our freight forwarding and NVOCC businesses.

Employees

As of December 31, 2017,  we had 215 employees worldwide. We are not a party to any collective bargaining agreements. We believe that relations with our employees are good.

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Available Information

Our Internet website address is http://www.capps.com. Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (Exchange Act) are available free of charge through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. Also, copies of our filings with the SEC will be made available, free of charge, upon written request to the Company. The information found on, or otherwise accessible through, our website is not incorporated by reference into, nor does it form a part of, this Annual Report on Form 10-K, or any other document that we file with the SEC.

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ITEM 1A: RISK FACTORS

In addition to the other information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we have identified the following risks and uncertainties that may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Investors should carefully consider the risks described below before making an investment decision. The risks described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks not presently known to us or that we currently believe are immaterial may also impair our business operations. Our business could be harmed by any of these risks. The trading price of our common stock could decline due to any of these risks and investors may lose all or part of their investment. This section should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto, and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Risks Related to Container Leasing 



The demand for leased containers is particularly tied to international trade. If international trade were to decrease, it could reduce demand for container leasing, which would materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

A substantial portion of our containers are used in trade involving goods being shipped from exporting countries (e.g., China and other Asian countries) to importing countries (e.g., the United States or European nations). The willingness and ability of international consumers to purchase foreign goods is dependent upon political support for an absence of government-imposed barriers to international trade in goods and services. For example, international consumer demand for foreign goods is related to price. Therefore, if the price differential between foreign goods and domestically-produced goods were to decrease due to increased tariffs on the import of foreign goods, strengthening in the applicable foreign currencies relative to domestic currencies, rising foreign wages, increasing input or energy costs or other factors, then demand for foreign goods could decrease. This in turn could result in reduced demand for container leasing. A similar reduction in demand for container leasing could result from an increased use of quotas or other technical barriers to restrict trade. The current regime of relatively free trade may not continue, which would materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The current U.S. Government has withdrawn from certain international trade agreements (i.e. the Trans Pacific Partnership) and has announced its intention to renegotiate some existing trade agreements (i.e. NAFTA). Any changes in international trade agreements may lead to the implementation of tariffs, border taxes or other measures that could impact the level of trade between the U.S. and other countries, including countries in Asia and Mexico. Any such changes to trade agreements or the implementation of tariffs could have a material impact on the purchase of foreign goods, and negatively impact our customers and the volume of container and rail shipments, which would materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Market conditions could weaken due to a combination of factors, including significant declines in steel prices, new container prices, used container prices and slower trade growth which could lead to lower demand for containers.  

Market conditions could weaken leading to reduced investment, a lack of growth and a significant reduction in our profitability. For example, in recent years there was an overall decline in worldwide commodity prices and, in particular, steel prices, which declined approximately 40% from October 2014 through December 2015. World containerization trade growth decelerated significantly during 2015 and trade growth remained weak in 2016. The decline in steel prices, along with slower trade growth resulted in a reduced demand for containers and contributed to a significant decline in the price of new containers. New container prices declined during 2015 and reached a low point of approximately $1,250 in the first quarter of 2016. Sale prices for used containers decreased significantly in 2015 and into 2016, resulting in losses on the sale of equipment. If steel prices decline and the market conditions we saw in 2015 and 2016 return,  our profitability will decline, which could limit the availability of our liquidity and capital resources and therefore constrain our ability to repay debt, invest in additional containers or repurchase our common shares.

Container leasing demand can be negatively affected by numerous market factors as well as external political and economic events that are beyond our control. Decreasing leasing demand could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Demand for containers depends largely on the rate of world trade and economic growth. Demand for leased containers is also driven by our customers’ “lease vs. buy” decisions. Cyclical recessions can negatively affect lessors’ operating results because during economic downturns or periods of reduced trade, shipping lines tend to lease fewer containers, or lease containers only at reduced rates, and tend to rely more on their own fleets to satisfy a greater percentage of their requirements. As a result, during periods of weak global economic activity, container lessors like ourselves typically experience decreased leasing demand, decreased equipment utilization, lower average rental rates, decreased leasing revenue, decreased used container resale prices and significantly decreased profitability. These effects can be severe.

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For example, our profitability decreased significantly from the third quarter of 2008 to the third quarter of 2009 due to the effects of the global financial crisis, and profitability would have decreased further if trade activity did not start to recover at the end of 2009. Starting in 2015 and continuing through 2016,  our operating performance and profitability were also negatively impacted due to slower global trade growth resulting in reduced demand for leased containers, decreases in lease rental revenue, decreased used container sales prices, and higher operating costs. If these conditions return,  our profitability will be negatively affected, which could constrain our ability to invest in additional containers or repurchase our common shares.

Other general factors affecting demand for leased containers, container utilization and per diem rental rates include: 

available supply and prices of new and used containers;

changes in the operating efficiency of our customers;

economic conditions and competitive pressures in the shipping industry;

shifting trends and patterns of cargo traffic, including a reduction in exports from Asian nations or increased trade imbalances;

the availability and terms of container financing;

fluctuations in interest rates and foreign currency values;

overcapacity or undercapacity of the container manufacturers;

the lead times required to purchase containers;

the number of containers purchased by competitors and container lessees;

container ship fleet overcapacity or undercapacity;

increased repositioning by container shipping lines of their own empty containers to higher-demand locations in lieu of leasing containers from us;

consolidation or withdrawal of individual container lessees in the container shipping industry;

import/export tariffs and restrictions;

customs procedures, foreign exchange controls and other governmental regulations;

natural disasters that are severe enough to affect local and global economies;

political and economic factors, including any changes in international trade agreements; and

future regulations which could restrict our current business practices and increase our cost of doing business.

All of these factors are inherently unpredictable and beyond our control. These factors will vary over time, often quickly and unpredictably, and any change in one or more of these factors may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Many of these factors also influence decisions by our customers to lease or buy containers. Should one or more of these factors influence our customers to buy a larger percentage of the containers they operate, our utilization rate would decrease, resulting in decreased revenue and increased storage and repositioning costs.

Lease rates may decrease due to a decrease in new container prices, weak leasing demand, increased competition or other factors, resulting in reduced revenues, lower margins, and reduced profitability and cash flows.

Market lease rates are typically a function of, among other things, new equipment prices (which are heavily influenced by steel prices), interest rates, the type and length of the lease, the equipment supply and demand balance at a particular time and location, and other factors more fully described below. A decrease in lease rates can have a materially adverse effect on our leasing revenues, profitability and cash flow. For example, the low container prices experienced in 2016, together with low interest rates, resulted in market lease rates reaching historically low levels.

A decrease in market lease rates negatively impacts the lease rates on both new container investments and existing containers in our fleet. Most of our existing containers are on operating leases, which means that the lease term is shorter than the expected life of the container, so the lease rate we receive for the container is subject to change at the expiration of the current lease. Lower new container prices, widespread availability of attractively priced financing, and aggressive competition for new leasing transactions could put pressure on market lease rates. As a result, during periods of low market lease rates, the average lease rate received for our containers is negatively impacted by both the addition of new containers at low lease rates as well as, and more significantly, by the turnover of existing containers from leases with higher lease rates to leases with lower lease rates. We have a large number of historically high rate leases that expire between 2018 and 2020 and those that have expired or been renegotiated have been re-priced at today’s lower lease rates.

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A  reduction in the price of new containers could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

New container prices have been increasing since their lows in the first quarter of 2016. If new container prices decreased, however, the per diem lease rates for new leases of older, off-lease containers would also be expected to decrease and the prices obtained for containers sold at the end of their useful life would also be expected to decrease. Between the beginning of 2014 and the first quarter of 2016, due primarily to decreases in steel prices and other macro-economic factors outside of our control, new container pricing and the sale prices of containers sold at the end of their useful life declined. Although new and used container prices recovered during 2016 and 2017, if the price of new containers declines such that market per diem lease rates or resale values for containers are reduced, our revenue and income could decline. A continuation of these factors could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, even if a  sustained reduction in price would allow us to purchase new containers at a lower cost.

We face risks associated with re-leasing containers after their initial long-term lease.

Containers used in our fleet have an average useful life that is generally between 12 and 15 years. When we purchase newly manufactured containers, we typically lease them out under long-term leases with terms of 3 to 8 years at a lease rate that is correlated to the price paid for the container. As containers leased under term leases are not leased out for their full economic life, we face risks associated with re-leasing containers after their initial long-term lease at a rate that continues to provide a reasonable economic return based on the initial purchase price of the container. If prevailing container lease rates decline significantly between the time a container is initially leased out and when its initial long-term lease expires, or if overall demand for containers declines, we may be unable to earn a sufficient lease rate from the re-leasing of containers when their initial term leases expire. This could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our customers may decide to lease fewer containers. Should shipping lines decide to buy a larger percentage of the containers they operate, our utilization rate and level of investment would decrease, resulting in decreased leasing revenues, increased storage costs, increased repositioning costs and lower growth.

We, like other suppliers of leased containers, are dependent upon decisions by shipping lines to lease rather than buy their container equipment. Should shipping lines decide to buy a larger percentage of the containers they operate, our utilization rate would decrease, resulting in decreased leasing revenues, increased storage costs and increased positioning costs. A decrease in the portion of leased containers operated by shipping lines would also reduce our investment opportunities and significantly constrain our growth. Most of the factors affecting the decisions of our customers are outside of our control.

Used container sale prices may decrease, leading to losses on the sale of used rental equipment. 

Although our revenues primarily depend upon equipment leasing, our profitability is also affected by the gains or losses we realize on the sale of used containers because, in the ordinary course of our business, we sell certain containers when they are returned to us. The volatility of the selling prices and gains or losses from the disposal of such equipment may be significant. Used container selling prices, which can vary substantially, depend upon, among other factors, the cost of new containers, the global supply and demand balance for containers, the location of the containers, the supply and demand balance for used containers at a particular location, the repair condition of the container, refurbishment needs, materials and labor costs and equipment obsolescence. Most of these factors are outside of our control.

Containers are typically sold if it is in our best interest to do so, after taking into consideration earnings prospects, book value, remaining useful life, condition and repair costs, storage costs, suitability for leasing or other uses, and the prevailing local sales price for containers. Gains or losses on the disposition of used containers will fluctuate and may be significant if we sell large quantities of used containers.  

Used container selling prices and the gains or losses that we have recognized from selling used containers have varied widely over recent years. Selling prices for used container and our disposal gains were exceptionally high from 2010 to 2012 due to a generally tight global supply and demand balance for containers. Since the beginning of 2013, due primarily to decreases in steel prices and other macro-economic factors outside of our control, new container pricing and the sale prices of containers sold at the end of their useful life declined. During 2015 and 2016, disposal prices were close to, and in many cases below, our residual values which resulted in losses being incurred on the sales of used equipment. As a result of consistent losses being recorded on the sale of 40-foot high cube dry van containers, we reduced the residual value for these containers from $1,650 to $1,400 per container, effective July 1, 2016, which resulted in an increase in depreciation expense of $4.4 million and $5.4 million for 2017 and 2016, respectively.  During 2017, sales prices for used containers have recovered, resulting in gains being recognized on the sale of used equipment. If used container prices were to decrease once again,  we may incur losses on the sale of used containers, our residual values may need to be reduced further,  resulting in increased depreciation expense, and we may incur impairment charges on such equipment. A decline in these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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We may incur significant costs to reposition containers.  

When lessees return containers to locations where supply exceeds demand, we may make a decision to reposition containers to higher demand areas rather than sell the container and realize a loss on sale. Repositioning expenses vary depending on geographic location, distance, freight rates and other factors, and may not be fully covered by drop-off charges collected from the last lessee of the containers or pick-up charges paid by the new lessee. We seek to limit the number of units that can be returned and impose surcharges on containers returned to areas where demand for such containers is not expected to be strong. However, market conditions may not enable us to continue such practices. In addition, we may not accurately anticipate which port locations will be characterized by high or low demand in the future, and our current contracts will not protect us from repositioning costs if ports that we expect to be high-demand ports turn out to be low-demand ports at the time leases expire.

Lessee defaults may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition by decreasing revenue and increasing storage, repositioning, collection and recovery expenses.

Our container equipment is leased to numerous lessees. Lessees are required to pay rent and indemnify us for damage to or loss of equipment. Lessees may default in paying rent and performing other obligations under their leases. A delay or diminution in amounts received under the leases (including leases on our managed equipment), or a default in the performance of maintenance or other lessee obligations under the leases could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and our ability to make payments on our debt.

Our cash flows from container equipment, principally container rental revenue, management fee revenue, gain on disposition of used equipment and commissions earned on the sale of equipment on behalf of equipment investors, are affected significantly by the ability to collect payments under leases and the ability to replace cash flows from terminating leases by re-leasing or selling equipment on favorable terms. All of these factors are subject to external economic conditions and the performance by lessees and service providers that are not within our control.

In addition, when lessees default, we may fail to recover all of our equipment, and the equipment we do recover may be returned in damaged condition or to locations where we will not be able to efficiently re-lease or sell the equipment.  As a result, we may have to repair and reposition the equipment to other places where we can re-lease or sell it,  and we may lose revenue and incur additional operating expenses in repossessing, repositioning and storing the equipment. 

We believe that the risk of lessee defaults remains high. Excess vessel capacity over the last several years has led to low ocean freight rates, which has resulted in large financial losses for certain carriers. For example, Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd (Hanjin),  previously the world’s 7th largest container shipping line, declared bankruptcy on August 31, 2016, and a second major shipping line entered into restructuring negotiations with its creditors, which was successfully completed in 2016. We expect excess vessel capacity, and future financial commitments for new capacity, to persist and freight rates to remain under pressure, which could adversely affect the credit worthiness of our customers. The Hanjin bankruptcy resulted in us recording bad debt expense of $2.5 million and an impairment charge of $2.0 million in 2016. Additional large lessee defaults could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow.

We maintain insurance to reimburse the Company and third-party investors for customer defaults. The insurance agreements are subject to deductibles of $3.0 million or $3.5 million per occurrence, depending on the customer’s credit rating, and have significant exclusions. In 2016, we filed a significant insurance claim as a result of the Hanjin bankruptcy. As a result of this claim, and other factors, our level of insurance cover in 2018 is limited to  $11.5 million or $12.0 million per occurrence and $18.0 million or $19.0 million in aggregate, depending on the customer’s credit rating, and may not be sufficient to prevent us from suffering material losses. Additional insurance claims made by the Company may result in such insurance not being available to us in the future on commercially reasonable terms, or at all.

We may incur additional asset impairment charges and depreciation expense.  

We incurred a charge of $24.5 million in 2015 to impair the carrying value of certain off-lease equipment. Additional asset impairment charges may result from the occurrence of unexpected adverse events or management decisions that impact our estimates of expected cash flows generated from our long-lived assets. We review our long-lived assets for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value of an asset may not be recoverable. We may be required to recognize additional asset impairment charges in the future as a result of prolonged reductions in demand for specific container types, an extended weak economic environment, persistent challenging market conditions, events related to particular customers or asset type, or as a result of asset or portfolio sale decisions by management. If an asset, or group of assets, is considered to be impaired, it may also indicate that the residual value of the associated equipment type needs to be reduced. We reduced the residual value for 40-foot high cube dry van containers from $1,650 to $1,400 per container, effective July 1, 2016, which resulted in an increase in depreciation expense of $4.4 million and $5.4 million for 2017 and 2016, respectively.  If residual values of our rental equipment are lowered further, then our depreciation expense will increase, which would have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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We derive a substantial portion of our revenue from a limited number of container lessees. The loss of, or reduction in business by, any of these container lessees, or a default from any large container lessee, could result in a significant loss of revenue and cash flow.

We have derived, and believe that we will continue to derive, a significant portion of our revenue and cash flow from a limited number of container lessees. Revenue from our ten largest container lessees represented 65.8% of total revenue for this segment for the year ended December 31, 2017, with revenue from our two largest container lessees accounting for 15.9% and 14.7%, respectively, of container lease revenue, or $37.5 million and $34.7 million, respectively. As our business grows, and as consolidation continues among our shipping line customers, we expect the proportion of revenue generated by our larger customers to continue to increase. Recent consolidation among our major shipping line customers includes Cosco and China Shipping Container Lines in 2016, and between Maersk and Hamburg Süd in 2017. The loss of such a customer would have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, a default by any of our largest lessees would result in a major reduction in our leasing revenue, large repossession expenses, potentially large lost equipment charges and a material adverse impact on our performance and financial condition. Although we maintain insurance against customer defaults, our insurance is limited and may not be sufficient to cover such a default.

Sustained Asian economic, social or political instability could reduce demand for leasing.

Many of our customers are substantially dependent upon shipments of goods exported from Asia. From time to time, there have been economic disruptions, financial turmoil, natural disasters and political instability in this region. If these events were to occur in the future, they could adversely affect our equipment lessees and the general demand for shipping and lead to reduced demand for leased equipment or otherwise adversely affect us. Currently China is transitioning from an export based economy to a domestic demand economy. Any consequent reductions in demand for leased equipment could adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Consolidation and concentration in the container shipping industry could decrease the demand for leased containers.  

We primarily lease containers to container shipping lines. The container shipping lines have historically relied on a large number of leased containers to satisfy their needs. Consolidation of major container shipping lines, such as between Cosco and China Shipping Container Lines in 2016, and between Maersk and Hamburg Süd in 2017, or the creation of additional operating alliances between shipping lines, could create efficiencies for the shipping lines and decrease demand for leased containers, because they may be able to fulfill a larger portion of their needs through their owned container fleets. It would also create increased concentration of credit risk if the number of our container lessees decreases due to consolidation. Additionally, large container shipping lines with significant resources could choose to manufacture their own containers, which would decrease their demand for leased containers and could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.  Finally, decreased demand from shipping companies for leased containers could also occur due to consolidation caused by the financial failure of container shipping companies, such as the bankruptcy of Hanjin during 2016.

Changes in market price, availability or transportation costs of containers could adversely affect our ability to maintain our supply of containers.  

We currently purchase almost all of our containers from manufacturers based in China. If it became more expensive for us to procure containers in China or to transport these units at a low cost from China to the locations where they are needed by our container lessees because of changes in exchange rates between the U.S. Dollar and Chinese Yuan, further consolidation among container suppliers, increased tariffs imposed by the United States or other governments or for any other reason, we may have to seek alternative sources of supply. While we are not currently dependent on any single current manufacturer of our containers, we may not be able to make alternative arrangements quickly enough to meet our container needs, and the alternative arrangements may increase our costs.

It may become more expensive for us to store our off-hire containers.

We are dependent on third-party depot operators to repair and store our equipment in port areas throughout the world. In many of these locations the land occupied by these depots is increasingly being considered as prime real estate. Accordingly, local communities are considering increasing restrictions on depot operations which may increase their costs of operation and in some cases force depots to relocate to sites further from port areas. Additionally, depots in prime locations may become filled to capacity based on market conditions and may refuse additional containers due to space constraints. This could require us to enter into higher-cost storage agreements with third-party depot operators in order to accommodate our customers’ turn-in requirements and could result in increased costs and expenses for us. If these changes affect a large number of our depots it could significantly increase the cost of maintaining and storing our off-hire containers.

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We face extensive competition in the  equipment  leasing industry.

We may be unable to compete favorably in the highly competitive equipment leasing business. We compete with a number of major leasing companies, many smaller lessors, manufacturers of equipment, companies and financial institutions offering finance leases, promoters of equipment ownership and leasing as a tax-efficient investment, container shipping lines (which sometimes lease their excess container stocks), and suppliers of alternative types of containers for freight transport. Some of these competitors have greater financial resources and access to capital than we do. Additionally, some of these competitors may have large, underutilized inventories of equipment, which could lead to significant downward pressure on per diem rates, margins and prices of equipment.  

Our business requires large amounts of working capital to fund our operations. We are aware that some of our competitors have had ownership changes and there has been consolidation in the industry in recent years. As a consequence, these competitors may have greater resources available to aggressively seek to expand their market share. This could include offering lease rates with which we may not be able to effectively compete. We may not be able to compete successfully against these competitors.

Competition among equipment leasing companies depends upon many factors, including, among others, per diem rates; lease terms, including lease duration, drop-off restrictions and repair provisions; customer service; and the location, availability, quality and individual characteristics of equipment units.  The highly competitive nature of our industry may reduce lease rates and margins and undermine our ability to maintain our current level of container utilization or achieve our growth plans.

The international nature of our business exposes us to numerous risks.

Our ability to enforce lessees’ obligations will be subject to applicable law in the jurisdiction in which enforcement is sought. As containers are predominantly located on international waterways, it is not possible to predict, with any degree of certainty, the jurisdictions in which enforcement proceedings may be commenced. For example, repossession from defaulting lessees may be difficult and more expensive in jurisdictions in which laws do not confer the same security interests and rights to creditors and lessors as those in the United States and in jurisdictions where recovery of containers from defaulting lessees is more cumbersome. As a result, the relative success and expedience of enforcement proceedings with respect to containers in various jurisdictions cannot be predicted.

We are also subject to risks inherent in conducting business across national boundaries, any one of which could adversely impact our business. These risks include:

regional or local economic downturns;

changes in governmental policy or regulation;

restrictions on the transfer of funds into or out of the countries in which we operate;

value-added tax and other sales-type taxes which could result in additional costs to us if they are not properly collected or paid;

domestic and foreign customs and tariffs;

international incidents;

war, hostilities, terrorist attacks, piracy, or the threat of any of these events;

government instability;

nationalization of foreign assets;

government protectionism;

compliance with export controls, including those of the U.S. Department of Commerce;

compliance with import procedures and controls, including those of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security;

consequences from changes in tax laws, including tax laws pertaining to container investors;

potential liabilities relating to foreign withholding taxes;

labor or other disruptions at key ports;

difficulty in staffing and managing widespread operations;

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restrictive local employment laws; and

restrictions on our ability to own or operate subsidiaries, make investments or acquire new businesses in these jurisdictions.

One or more of these factors could impair our current or future international operations and, as a result, harm our overall business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.  

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We may incur costs associated with new security regulations, which may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may be subject to regulations promulgated in various countries, including the United States, seeking to protect the integrity of international commerce and prevent the use of equipment for international terrorism or other illicit activities. For example, the Container Security Initiative, the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and Operation Safe Commerce are among the programs administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that are designed to enhance security for cargo moving throughout the international transportation system by identifying existing vulnerabilities in the supply chain and developing improved methods for ensuring the security of containerized cargo entering and leaving the United States. Moreover, the International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972 (CSC), as amended, adopted by the International Maritime Organization, applies to new and existing containers and seeks to maintain a high level of safety of human life in the transport and handling of containers by providing uniform international safety regulations. As these regulations develop and change, we may incur compliance costs due to the acquisition of new, compliant equipment and/or the adaptation of existing equipment to meet new requirements imposed by such regulations. Additionally, certain companies are currently developing or may in the future develop products designed to enhance the security of equipment transported in international commerce. Regardless of the existence of current or future government regulations mandating the safety standards of intermodal shipping equipment, our competitors may adopt such products or our equipment lessees may require that we adopt such products. In responding to such market pressures, we may incur increased costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.  

We operate in numerous tax jurisdictions and a taxing authority within any of these jurisdictions may challenge our operating structure which could result in additional taxes, interest and penalties that could materially impact our financial conditions and our future financial results.

We have structured our Company and its domestic and international subsidiaries to minimize our income tax obligations in countries in which we operate. There can be no assurance that our tax structure and the amount of taxes we pay in any of these countries will not be challenged by the relevant taxing authorities. If the tax authorities challenge our tax positions or the amount of taxes paid for the purchase, lease or sale of equipment in each jurisdiction in which we operate, we could incur substantial expenses associated with defending our tax position as well as expenses associated with the payment of any additional taxes, penalties and interest that may be imposed on us. The payment of these amounts could have an adverse material effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.  

Environmental liability may adversely affect our business and financial condition.

We are subject to federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment, including those governing the discharge of pollutants to air, ground and water, the management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes and the cleanup of contaminated sites. We could incur substantial costs, including cleanup costs, fines and costs arising out of third-party claims for property or natural resource damage and personal injury, as a result of violations of or liabilities under environmental laws and regulations in connection with our or our lessees’ current or historical operations. Under some environmental laws in the United States and certain other countries, the owner or operator of a container may be liable for environmental damage, cleanup or other costs in the event of a spill or discharge of material from a container without regard to whether or not the spill or discharge was the fault of the owner or operator. While we typically maintain liability insurance and typically require lessees to provide us with indemnity against certain losses, insurance coverage may not be sufficient, or available, to protect against any or all liabilities and such indemnities may not be sufficient to protect us against losses arising from environmental damage. Moreover, our lessees may not have adequate resources, or may refuse to honor their indemnity obligations and our insurance coverage is subject to large deductibles, coverage limits and significant exclusions.

Many countries, including the United States, restrict, prohibit or otherwise regulate the use of chemical refrigerants due to their ozone depleting and global warming effects. Our refrigerated containers currently use R134A or 404A refrigerant. While R134A and 404A do not contain CFCs (which have been restricted since 1995), the European Union has instituted regulations beginning in 2011 to phase out the use of R134A in automobile air conditioning systems due to concern that the release of R134A into the atmosphere may contribute to global warming. While the European Union regulations do not currently restrict the use of R134A or 404A in refrigerated containers or trailers, it has been proposed that, beginning in 2025, R134A and 404A usage in refrigerated containers will be banned, although the final decision has not yet been made. Further, certain manufacturers of refrigerated containers, including the largest manufacturer of cooling machines for refrigerated containers, have begun testing units that utilize alternative refrigerants, such as carbon dioxide, that may have less global warming potential than R134A and 404A. If future regulations prohibit the use or servicing of containers using R134A or 404A refrigerants, we could be forced to incur large retrofitting expenses. In addition, refrigerated containers that are not retrofitted may become difficult to lease, command lower rental rates and disposal prices, or may have to be scrapped.

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Before 2010, foam insulation in the walls of intermodal refrigerated containers required the use of a blowing agent that contained hydrochlofluorcarbons (CFCs, specifically HCFC-141b). Since 2010, our manufacturers have phased out the use of this blowing agent in the manufacturing process, replacing that blowing agent with cyclopentane, which contains no CFCs. However, we may still have intermodal refrigerated containers in our fleet that used HCFC-141b in their production. The European Union (EU) prohibits the import and the placing on the market in the EU of intermodal containers with insulation made with HCFC-141b (EU Regulation). However, the European Commission has recognized that notwithstanding its regulation, under international conventions governing free movement of intermodal containers, the use of such intermodal refrigerated containers admitted into EU countries on temporary customs admission should be permitted. Each country in the EU has its own individual and different regulations to implement the EU Regulation.  We have procedures in place that we believe comply with the EU and country regulations. However, if such intermodal refrigerated containers exceed their temporary customs admission period and/or their custom admissions status changes (e.g., should such container be off-hired) and such intermodal refrigerated containers are deemed placed on the market in the EU, or if our procedures are deemed not to comply with EU or a country’s regulation, we could be subject to fines and penalties. Also, if future international conventions or regulations prohibit the use or servicing of containers with foam insulation that utilized this blowing agent during the manufacturing process, we could be forced to incur large retrofitting expenses and those containers that are not retrofitted may become more difficult to lease and command lower rental rates and disposal prices.

An additional environmental concern affecting our operations relates to the construction materials used in our dry containers. The floors of dry containers are plywood, usually made from tropical hardwoods. Due to concerns about the de-forestation of tropical rain forests and climate change, many countries that have been the source of these hardwoods have implemented severe restrictions on the cutting and export of these woods. Accordingly, container manufacturers have switched a significant portion of production to more readily available alternatives such as birch, bamboo, and other farm grown wood species. Container users are also evaluating alternative designs that would limit the amount of plywood required and are also considering possible synthetic materials to replace the plywood. These new woods or other alternatives have not proven their durability over the typical 10 to 15 year life of a dry container, and if they cannot perform as well as the hardwoods have historically, the future repair and operating costs for these containers could be significantly higher and the useful life of the containers may be decreased.

Use of counterfeit and improper refrigerant in refrigeration machines for refrigerated containers could result in irreparable damage to the refrigeration machines, death or personal injury, and materially impair the value of our refrigerated container fleet.

There are reports of counterfeit and improper refrigerant gas being used to service refrigeration machines. The use of this counterfeit gas has led to the explosion of several refrigeration machines within the industry. A small number of these incidents have resulted in personal injury or death and, in all cases, the counterfeit gas has led to irreparable damage to the refrigeration machines.

A testing procedure has been developed and approved by the IICL to determine whether counterfeit gas has been used to service a refrigeration machine. These tests are carried out on our refrigeration machines when they are off-hired and returned to a depot.  If such tests are not proven safe and effective or if the use of such counterfeit and improper refrigerant is more widespread than currently believed, the value of our refrigerated container fleet and our ability to lease refrigerated containers could be materially impaired and could therefore have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows

Certain liens may arise on our equipment.  

Depot operators, repairmen and transporters may come into possession of our equipment from time to time and have sums due to them from lessees or sub-lessees of equipment. In the event of nonpayment of those charges by lessees or sub-lessees, we may be delayed in, or entirely barred from, repossessing equipment, or be required to make payments or incur expenses to discharge liens on our equipment.  

The lack of an international title registry for containers increases the risk of ownership disputes.

There is no internationally recognized system of recordation or filing to evidence our title to containers nor is there an internationally recognized system for filing security interests in containers. Although we have not incurred material problems with respect to this lack of an internationally recognized system, the lack of an international title recordation system for containers could result in disputes with lessees, end-users, or third parties who may improperly claim ownership of the containers.



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Risks Related to Railcar Leasing



Weak economic conditions, financial market volatility, and other factors may decrease customer demand for our assets and services and negatively impact our business and results of operations.

We rely on continued demand from our customers to lease our railcars. Demand for railcars depends on the markets for our customers’ products and services and the strength and growth of their businesses. Some of our customers operate in cyclical markets, such as the steel, chemical, energy and construction industries, which are susceptible to macroeconomic downturns and may experience significant changes in demand over time. Weakness in certain sectors of the economy in the United States and other parts of the world may make it more difficult for us to lease certain types of railcars that are either returned at the end of a lease term or returned as a result of a customer bankruptcy or default. We have experienced continued weakness in macroeconomic conditions in the railcar business over the last year.

In many cases, demand for our assets also depends on our customers’ desire to lease, rather than buy, the assets. Tax and accounting considerations, interest rates, and operational flexibility, among other factors, may influence a customer’s decision to lease or buy assets. We have no control over these external considerations, and changes in these factors, including potential changes to lease accounting rules, could negatively impact demand for our assets held for lease.

Additional factors, such as changes in harvest or production volumes, changes in supply chains, choices in types of transportation assets, availability of substitutes and other operational needs may also influence customer demand for our assets. Significant declines in customer demand for our assets and services or continued weakness in macroeconomic conditions in the railcar business could adversely affect our financial performance.

We may be unable to maintain assets on lease at satisfactory rates.

Our profitability depends on our ability to lease railcars at satisfactory rates, sell railcars, and to re-lease railcars upon lease expiration. Circumstances such as economic downturns, changes in customer behavior, excess capacity in particular railcar types or generally in the marketplace, or other changes in supply or demand can adversely affect asset utilization rates and lease rates. Economic uncertainty or a decline in customer demand for our railcars could cause customers to request shorter lease terms and lower lease rates, which may result in a decrease in our asset utilization rate and reduced revenues. Alternatively, customers may seek to lock-in relatively low lease rates for longer terms, which may result in an adverse impact on current or future revenues.

We enter long-term railcar purchase commitments that could subject us to material operational and financial risks.

In order to obtain committed access to a supply of newly built railcars on competitive terms, we have entered into long-term supply agreements with manufacturers to purchase significant numbers of newly built railcars over a multi-year period. In many cases, we cannot economically cancel or materially reduce or reschedule our orders under these purchase commitments. If economic conditions weaken during the term of a long-term supply agreement, it is possible that we may be required to continue to accept delivery of, and pay for, new railcars at times when it may be difficult for us to lease such railcars and our financing costs may be high, which could negatively affect our revenues and profitability. For example, in 2015 we entered into a multi-year railcar order (the “Agreement”) with a  railcar manufacturer to purchase 2,000 new railcars. In 2017, we entered into an amendment to the Agreement, by which we modified the type of railcars yet to be delivered as of the date of the amendment. As of December 31, 2017, 1,267 railcars had been delivered under the Agreement; the remaining 733 railcars are to be delivered in 2018 at a cost of $78.5 million. Due to a weak and highly competitive railcar leasing environment, 598 of these cars currently remain off-lease. We intend to place all of these railcars on multi-year leases, but if we are not able to do so at rates that are sufficient to earn a return on our investment, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

A significant and sustained decrease in the price of crude oil and related products could reduce customer demand for our railcars.

Demand for railcars that are used to transport commodities used in drilling operations, including frac sand, is dependent on the demand for these commodities. Sustained low oil prices could cause oil producers to curtail the drilling of new wells or cease production at certain existing wells that are uneconomical to operate at current crude price levels. Reduced oil drilling activity could result in decreased demand for our railcars used to transport the commodities used in drilling operations, such as frac sand.

Changes in railroad efficiency may adversely affect demand for our railcars.

Railroad infrastructure investments that improve efficiency or declines in rail traffic due to decreased demand could increase the average speed at which railroads can operate their trains, which may reduce the number of railcars needed for railroads to haul the same amount of cargo. Adverse weather conditions, railroad mergers, and increase in rail traffic could result in slower transit times making rail transportation less attractive to shippers versus other modes of transport. In each case, these changes could reduce demand for our railcars and negatively impact revenue and our result of operations.

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A significant decrease in lease renewals by our customers could negatively impact operations and substantially increase our costs.

Decreases in customer demand for our railcars could increase the number of leases that are not renewed upon expiration, resulting in the early return of railcars. Railcars that are returned by our customers often must undergo maintenance and service work before being leased to new customers. A significant increase in the number of railcars requiring maintenance may negatively affect our operations and substantially increase maintenance and other related costs. In addition, low demand for certain types of railcars in our fleet may make those railcars more difficult to lease to new customers if they are returned at the end of their existing leases or following a customer default, which could negatively affect our results of operations.

Our rail operations are subject to various laws, rules, and regulations. If these laws, rules, and regulations change or we fail to comply with them, it could have a significant negative effect on our business and profitability.

Our rail operations are subject to various laws, rules, and regulations administered by authorities in jurisdictions where we do business. In the United States, our railcar fleet is subject to safety, operations, maintenance, and mechanical standards, rules, and regulations enforced by various federal and state agencies and industry organizations, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Association of American Railroads. State agencies regulate some health and safety matters related to rail operations not otherwise preempted by federal law. Our business and railcar fleet may be adversely impacted by new rules or regulations, or changes to existing rules or regulations, which could require additional maintenance or substantial modification or refurbishment of our railcars, or could make certain types of railcars inoperable or obsolete or require them to be phased out prior to the end of their useful lives. In addition, violations of these rules and regulations can result in substantial fines and penalties, including potential limitations on operations or forfeitures of assets.

We are subject to extensive environmental regulations and the costs of remediation may be material.

We are subject to extensive federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations concerning, among other things, the discharge of hazardous materials. Under some environmental laws in the United States, the owner of a leased railcar may be liable for environmental damage, cleanup or other costs in the event of a spill or discharge of material from a railcar without regard to the owner’s fault. We routinely assess environmental liabilities, including our potential obligations and the possible amount of recoveries from other responsible parties. Due to the regulatory complexities and the potential liability for the operations of our lessees, it is possible environmental and remediation costs could adversely affect our financial performance.

We may incur future asset impairment charges.

We review long-lived assets for impairment regularly, or when circumstances indicate the carrying value of an asset or investment may not be recoverable. Among other circumstances, the following may change our estimates of the cash flows we expect our long-lived assets will generate, which could require us to recognize asset impairment charges:

a weak economic environment or challenging market conditions;

new laws, rules or regulations affecting our assets, or changes to existing laws, rules or regulations;

events related to particular customers or asset types; and

asset portfolio sale decisions by management.

Our assets may become obsolete.

In addition to changes in laws, rules, and regulations that may make assets obsolete, changes in the preferred method our customers use to ship their products, changes in demand for particular products, or a shift by customers toward purchasing assets rather than leasing them may adversely impact us. Our customers' industries are driven by dynamic market forces and trends, which are influenced by economic and political factors. Changes in our customers' markets may significantly affect demand for our rail assets. A reduction in customer demand or change in customers' preferred method of product transportation could result in the economic obsolescence of the assets leased by those customers.

Competition could result in decreased profitability.

We operate in a highly competitive business environment. In certain cases, our competitors are larger than we are and have greater financial resources, higher credit ratings, and a lower cost of capital. In addition, we compete against railcar manufacturers that have leasing subsidiaries. These factors may enable our competitors to offer leases to customers at lower rates than we can provide, thus negatively impacting our profitability, asset utilization and investment volume.

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We derive a substantial portion of our revenue from a limited number of railcar lessees. The loss of, or reduction in business by, any of these railcar lessees, or a default from any large railcar lessee, could result in a significant loss of revenue and cash flow.

We have derived, and believe that we will continue to derive, a significant portion of our revenue and cash flow from a limited number of railcar lessees. Revenue from our ten largest railcar lessees represented 47.8% of total revenue for this segment for the year ended December 31, 2017. The loss of such customers would have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, a default by any of our largest railcar lessees would result in a major reduction in our leasing revenue, large repossession expenses, potentially large lost equipment charges and a material adverse impact on our performance and financial condition.

Lessee defaults may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition by decreasing revenue and increasing storage, repositioning, collection and recovery expenses.

Our railcar equipment is leased to numerous lessees. Lessees are required to pay rent and indemnify us for damage to or loss of equipment. Lessees may default in paying rent and performing other obligations under their leases. A delay or diminution in amounts received under the leases, or a default in the performance of maintenance or other lessee obligations under the leases could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and our ability to make payments on our debt.

Our cash flows from railcar equipment, principally railcar rental revenue, are affected significantly by the ability to collect payments under leases and the ability to replace cash flows from terminating leases by re-leasing or selling equipment on favorable terms. All of these factors are subject to external economic conditions and the performance by lessees and service providers that are not within our control.

In addition, when lessees default, we may fail to recover all of our equipment, and the equipment we do recover may be returned in damaged condition or to locations where we will not be able to efficiently re-lease or sell the equipment. As a result, we may have to repair and reposition the equipment to other places where we can re-lease or sell it, and we may lose revenue and incur additional operating expenses in repossessing, repositioning and storing the equipment.

We maintain insurance to reimburse the Company for customer defaults. The insurance agreements are subject to deductibles of $3.0 million or $3.5 million per occurrence, depending on the customer’s credit rating, and have significant exclusions and, therefore, may not be sufficient to prevent us from suffering material losses. Our level of insurance cover in 2018 is limited to $11.5 million or $12.0 million per occurrence and $18.0 million and $19.0 million in aggregate, depending on the customer’s credit rating. Additional insurance claims made by the Company may result in such insurance not being available to us in the future on commercially reasonable terms, or at all.

Certain liens may arise on our equipment.

Depot operators and repairmen may come into possession of our equipment from time to time and have sums due to them from lessees or sub-lessees of equipment. In the event of nonpayment of those charges by lessees or sub-lessees, we may be delayed in, or entirely barred from, repossessing equipment, or be required to make payments or incur expenses to discharge liens on our equipment.



Risk Related to Logistics



Because we depend on railroads for our operations, our operating results and financial condition are likely to be adversely affected by any reduction or deterioration in rail service.

We depend on the major railroads in the United States for virtually all of the intermodal services we provide. In many markets, rail service is limited to one or two railroads. Consequently, a reduction in, or elimination of, rail service to a particular market is likely to adversely affect our ability to provide intermodal transportation services to some of our customers. In addition, the railroads are relatively free to adjust shipping rates up or down as market conditions permit. Rate increases would result in higher intermodal transportation costs, reducing the attractiveness of intermodal transportation compared to truck or other transportation modes, which could cause a decrease in demand for our services. Further, our ability to continue to expand our intermodal transportation business is dependent upon the railroads’ ability to increase capacity for intermodal freight and provide consistent and reliable service. Our business could also be adversely affected by a work stoppage at one or more railroads or by adverse weather conditions or other factors that hinder the railroads’ ability to provide reliable transportation services. In the past, there have been service issues when railroads have merged. As a result, we cannot predict what effect, if any, further consolidations among railroads may have on intermodal transportation services or our results of operations.

Because our relationships with the major railroads are critical to our ability to provide intermodal transportation services, our business may be adversely affected by any change to those relationships.

We have important relationships with certain major U.S. railroads. To date, the railroads have chosen to rely on us, other IMCs and other intermodal competitors to market their intermodal services rather than fully developing their own marketing capabilities. If one or more of the major railroads were to decide to reduce their dependence on us, the volume of intermodal shipments we arrange would likely decline, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

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Because we rely on drayage companies in our intermodal operations, our ability to expand our business or maintain our profitability may be adversely affected by a shortage of drivers and drayage capacity.

In certain markets we serve, we use third-party drayage companies for pickup and delivery of some or all of our intermodal containers. Most drayage companies operate relatively small fleets and have limited access to capital for fleet expansion. In some of our markets, there are a limited number of drayage companies that can meet our quality standards. This could limit our ability to expand our intermodal business or require us to establish more of our own drayage operations in some markets, which could increase our operating costs and could adversely affect our profitability and financial condition. Also, the trucking industry periodically experiences a shortage of available drivers, which may limit the ability of third-party drayage companies to expand their fleets. This shortage also may require them to increase drivers’ compensation, thereby increasing our cost of providing drayage services to our customers. Therefore, the driver shortage could also adversely affect our profitability and limit our ability to expand our intermodal business.

Because we depend on trucking companies for our truck brokerage services, our ability to maintain or expand our truck brokerage business may be adversely affected by a shortage of trucking capacity.

We depend upon various third-party trucking companies for the transportation of our customers’ loads. Particularly during periods of economic expansion, trucking companies may be unable to expand their fleets due to capital constraints or chronic driver shortages, and these trucking companies also may raise their rates. If we face insufficient capacity among our third-party trucking companies, we may be unable to maintain or expand our truck brokerage business. Also, we may be unable to pass rate increases on to our customers, which could adversely affect our profitability.

Our results of operations are susceptible to changes in general economic conditions and cyclical fluctuations.

Economic recession, customers’ business cycles, changes in fuel prices and supply, interest rate fluctuations, increases in fuel or energy taxes and other general economic factors affect the demand for transportation services and the operating costs of railroads, trucking companies and drayage companies. We have little or no control over any of these factors or their effects on the transportation industry. Increases in the operating costs of railroads, trucking companies or drayage companies can be expected to result in higher freight rates. Our operating margins could be adversely affected if we were unable to pass through to our customers the full amount of higher freight rates. Economic recession or a downturn in customers’ business cycles also may have an adverse effect on our results of operations and growth by reducing demand for our services. Therefore, our results of operations, like the entire freight transportation industry, are cyclical and subject to significant period-to-period fluctuations.

Relatively small increases in our transportation costs that we are unable to pass through to our customers are likely to have a significant effect on our gross margin and operating income.

Because transportation costs represent such a significant portion of our costs, even relatively small increases in these transportation costs, if we are unable to pass them through to our customers, are likely to have a significant effect on our gross margin and operating income. 

The transportation industry is subject to government regulation, and regulatory changes could have a material adverse effect on our operating results or financial condition.

We are licensed by the Department of Transportation as freight brokers. The Department of Transportation prescribes qualifications for acting in this capacity, including surety bond requirements. As freight brokers, we may become subject to new or more restrictive regulations relating to new laws and regulations specific to legal liability, such as motor carriers are today. Future laws and regulations may be more stringent and require changes in operating practices, influence the demand for transportation services or increase the cost of providing transportation services, any of which could adversely affect our business and results of operations.

We are not able to accurately predict how new governmental laws and regulations, or changes to existing laws and regulations, will affect the transportation industry generally, or us in particular. Although government regulation that affects us and our competitors may simply result in higher costs that can be passed along to customers, that may not be the case.  

Our operations may be subject to various environmental laws and regulations, the violation of which could result in substantial fines or penalties.

From time to time, we arrange for the movement of hazardous materials at the request of our customers. As a result, we may be subject to various environmental laws and regulations relating to the handling of hazardous materials. If we are involved in a spill or other accident involving hazardous materials, or if we are found to be in violation of applicable laws or regulations, we could be subject to substantial fines or penalties and to civil and criminal liability, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

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We derive a significant portion of our logistics revenue from our largest customers and the loss of several of these customers could have a material adverse effect on our revenue and business.

Revenue from our ten largest customers represented 39.7% of total revenue for this segment for the year ended December 31, 2017.  A reduction in or termination of our services by such customers could have a material adverse effect on our revenue and business. 

Our obligation to pay our carriers is not contingent upon receipt of payment from our clients, and we extend credit to certain clients as part of our business model.

In most cases, we take full risk of credit loss for the transportation services we procure from carriers. Our obligation to pay our carriers is not contingent upon receipt of payments from our clients. If any of our key clients fail to pay for our services, our profitability would be negatively impacted.

We extend credit to certain clients in the ordinary course of business as part of our business model. By extending credit, we increase our exposure to uncollected receivables. A deterioration in the global or domestic economy could drive an increase in business failures, downsizing and delinquencies, which could cause an increase in our credit risk. If we fail to monitor and manage effectively any increased credit risk, our immediate and long-term liquidity may be adversely affected.

An economic downturn could materially adversely affect our business.

Our operations and performance depend significantly on economic conditions. Uncertainty about global economic conditions poses a risk as consumers and businesses may postpone spending in response to tighter credit, negative financial news and/or declines in income, which could have a material negative effect on demand for transportation services. We are unable to predict the likely duration and severity of disruptions in the financial markets and adverse global economic conditions. If economic conditions deteriorate, our business and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. Other factors that could influence demand include fluctuations in fuel costs, labor costs, consumer confidence, international trade or military conflicts, and other macroeconomic factors affecting consumer spending behavior. There could be a number of follow-on effects from a credit crisis on our business, including the insolvency of key transportation providers and the inability of our customers to obtain credit to finance development and/or manufacture products resulting in a decreased demand for transportation services. Our revenues and gross margins are dependent upon this demand, and if demand for transportation services declines, our revenues and gross margins could be adversely affected.

Continued weakness in the logistics business could have an adverse effect on our overall business, results of operations and financial condition, and may require us to record an impairment charge with respect to the assets relating to our logistics business.

We have recently reported losses in our logistics business. Continued weakness or other disruptions in the logistics segment could have a material adverse effect on our overall business, results of operations or financial condition, and could require us to record impairment charges in the future with respect to the assets relating to our logistics business. Any impairment charge would result in an immediate reduction to our earnings in the period in which the charge is taken, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.



General Business Risks



Our level of indebtedness reduces our financial flexibility and could impede our ability to operate.

We have a significant amount of indebtedness and we intend to borrow additional amounts under our credit facilities to purchase equipment and make acquisitions and other investments. We expect that we will maintain a significant amount of indebtedness on an ongoing basis. As of December 31, 2017, our total outstanding debt was $1,714.5 million. Interest expense on such debt will be $13.3 million per quarter for 2018, assuming floating interest rates remain consistent with those as of December 31, 2017. There is no assurance that we will be able to refinance our outstanding indebtedness when it becomes due, or, if refinancing is available, that it can be obtained on terms that we can afford.

Some of our credit facilities require us to pay a variable rate of interest, which will increase or decrease based on variations in certain financial indexes, and increases in interest rates can significantly decrease our profits. We do not have any hedge or similar contracts that would protect us against changes in interest rates.

The amount of our indebtedness could have important consequences for us, including the following:

requiring us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to make payments on our debt, thereby reducing funds available for operations, future business opportunities and other purposes;

limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry in which we operate;

making it more difficult for us to satisfy our debt obligations, and any failure to comply with such obligations, including financial and other restrictive covenants, could result in an event of default under the agreements governing such indebtedness, which could lead to, among other things, an acceleration of our indebtedness or foreclosure on the assets

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securing our indebtedness, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows;

making it difficult for us to pay dividends on, or repurchase, our common stock;

placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors having less debt;

limiting our ability to borrow additional funds, or to sell assets to raise funds, if needed, for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or other purposes; and

increasing our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions, including changes in interest rates.

We may not generate sufficient cash flow from operations to service and repay our debt and related obligations and have sufficient funds left over to achieve or sustain profitability in our operations, meet our working capital and capital expenditure needs or compete successfully in our industry.

We will require a significant amount of cash to service and repay our outstanding indebtedness and our ability to generate cash depends on many factors beyond our control.

Our ability to make payments on and repay our indebtedness and to fund planned capital expenditures will depend on our ability to generate cash in the future. As of December 31, 2017, our total outstanding debt was $1,714.5 million. Interest expense on such debt will be $13.3 million per quarter in 2018, assuming floating interest rates remain consistent with those at December 31, 2017. These amounts will increase to the extent we borrow additional funds and if interest rates increase. It is possible that:

our business will not generate sufficient cash flow from operations to service and repay our debt and to fund working capital requirements and planned capital expenditures;

future borrowings will not be available under our current or future credit facilities in an amount sufficient to enable us to refinance our debt; or

we will not be able to refinance any of our debt on commercially reasonable terms or at all.

Our credit facilities impose, and the terms of any future indebtedness may impose, significant operating, financial and other restrictions on us and our subsidiaries.

Restrictions imposed by our credit facilities or other indebtedness will limit or prohibit, among other things, our ability to:

incur additional indebtedness;

pay dividends on or redeem or repurchase our stock;

enter into new lines of business;

issue capital stock of our subsidiaries (except to the Company);

make loans and certain types of investments;

create liens;

sell certain assets or merge with or into other companies;

enter into certain transactions with stockholders and affiliates; and

restrict dividends, distributions or other payments from our subsidiaries.

These restrictions could adversely affect our ability to finance our future operations or capital needs and pursue available business opportunities. A breach of any of these restrictions, including  a breach of financial covenants, could result in a default in respect of the related indebtedness. If a default occurs, the relevant lenders could elect to declare the indebtedness, together with accrued interest and fees, to be immediately due and payable and proceed against any collateral securing that indebtedness, which would constitute substantially all of our equipment assets.

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Security breaches and other disruptions could compromise our information technology systems and expose us to a liability, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and our reputation.

In the ordinary course of business, we collect and store sensitive data on our systems and networks, including our proprietary business information and that of our customers and suppliers, and personally identifiable information of our customers and employees. The secure storage, processing, maintenance and transmission of this information is critical to our operations. Despite security measures we employ, our information technology systems and networks may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or breached due to employee error, malfeasance or other disruptions. Hackers and data thieves are increasingly sophisticated and operate large-scale and complex automated attacks. Any breach of our network may result in the loss of valuable business data, misappropriation of our consumers’ or employees’ personal information, or a disruption of our business. Despite our existing security procedures and controls, if our network becomes compromised, it could give rise to unwanted media attention, materially damage our customer relationships, harm our business, our reputation, and our financial results, which could result in fines or lawsuits, and may increase the costs  we incur to protect against such information security breaches, such as increased investment in technology, the costs of compliance with consumer protection laws, and costs resulting from consumer fraud.

We are subject to legislative, regulatory, and legal developments involving taxes.

Taxes are a significant part of our expenses. We are subject to U.S. federal, state, and foreign income, payroll, property, sales and use, fuel, and other types of taxes. Changes in tax rates, such as those included in the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enactment of new tax laws, revisions of tax regulations, and claims or litigation with taxing authorities could result in a material effect to our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity. Higher tax rates could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

Actual or threatened terrorist attacks, efforts to combat terrorism, or the outbreak of war and hostilities could negatively impact our operations and profitability and may expose us to liability.

Terrorist attacks and the threat of such attacks have contributed to economic instability in the United States and elsewhere, and further acts or threats of terrorism, violence, war or hostilities could similarly affect world trade and the industries in which we and our customers operate. In addition, terrorist attacks or hostilities may directly impact ports, depots, our facilities or those of our suppliers or customers, and could impact our sales and our supply chain. A severe disruption to the worldwide ports system and flow of goods could result in a reduction in the level of international trade and lower demand for our equipment or services.  Any of these events could also negatively affect the economy and consumer confidence, which could cause a downturn in the transportation industry. The consequence of any terrorist attacks or hostilities are unpredictable, and we may not be able to foresee events that could have an adverse effect on our operations

It is also possible that our equipment could be involved in a terrorist attack. Although our lease agreements require our lessees to indemnify us against all damages arising out of the use of our containers, and we carry insurance to potentially offset any costs in the event that our customer indemnifications prove to be insufficient, our insurance does not cover certain types of terrorist attacks, and we may not be fully protected from liability of the reputational damage that could arise from a terrorist attack which utilizes one of our containers.

Our operations could be affected by natural or man-made events in the locations in which we or our customers or suppliers operate.

We have operations in locations subject to severe weather conditions, natural disasters, the outbreak of contagious disease, or man-made incidents such as chemical explosions, any of which could disrupt our operations. In addition, our suppliers and customers also have operations in such locations. For example, in 2015, a chemical explosion and fire in the port of Tianjin, China damaged or destroyed a small number of our containers and disrupted operations in the port. Similarly, outbreaks of pandemic or contagious diseases, such as H1N1 (swine) flu and the Ebola virus, could significantly reduce the demand for international shipping or could prevent our containers from being discharged in the affected areas or in other locations after having visited the affected areas. Any future natural or man-made disasters or health concerns in the world where we have business operations could lead to disruption of the regional and global economies, which could result in a decrease in demand for leased containers.

We may be affected by market or regulatory responses to climate change.

Changes in laws, rules, and regulations, or actions by authorities under existing laws, rules, or regulations, to address greenhouse gas emissions and climate change could negatively impact our customers and business. For example, restrictions on emissions could significantly increase costs for our customers whose production processes require significant amounts of energy. Customers' increased costs could reduce their demand to lease our assets. Potential consequences of laws, rules, or regulations addressing climate change could have an adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.

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Our business could be adversely affected by strikes or work stoppages by draymen, truckers, port workers and railroad workers.

There has been labor unrest, including strikes and work stoppages, among workers at various transportation providers and in industries affecting the transportation industry, such as port workers. We could lose business due to any significant work stoppage or slowdown and, if labor unrest results in increased rates for transportation providers such as draymen, we may not be able to pass these cost increases on to our customers. Strikes among longshoremen and clerical workers at ports in the past few years have slowed down the ports for a time, creating a major impact on the transportation industry. Work stoppages occurring among owner-operators in a specific market have increased our operating costs periodically over the past several years. In the past several years, there have been strikes involving railroad workers. Future strikes by railroad workers in the United States, Canada or anywhere else that our customers’ freight travels by railroad would impact our operations. Any significant work stoppage, slowdown or other disruption involving ports, railroads, truckers or draymen could adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Our senior executives are critical to the success of our business and our inability to retain them or recruit new personnel could adversely affect our business.

Most of our senior executives and other management-level employees have over fifteen years of industry experience. We rely on this knowledge and experience in our strategic planning and in our day-to-day business operations. Our success depends in large part upon our ability to retain our senior management, the loss of one or more of whom could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Our success also depends on our ability to retain our experienced sales force and technical personnel as well as recruiting new skilled sales, marketing and technical personnel. Competition for these individuals in our industry is intense and we may not be able to successfully recruit, train or retain qualified personnel. If we fail to retain and recruit the necessary personnel, our business and our ability to obtain new equipment lessees and provide acceptable levels of customer service could suffer.

We rely on our information technology systems to conduct our business. If these systems fail to adequately perform their functions, or if we experience an interruption in their operation, our business, results of operations and financial prospects could be adversely affected.

The efficient operation of our business is highly dependent on our information technology systems. We rely on our systems to track transactions, such as repair and depot charges and changes to book value, and movements associated with each of our owned or managed equipment units. We use the information provided by our systems in our day-to-day business decisions in order to effectively manage our lease portfolio and improve customer service. We also rely on them for the accurate tracking of the performance of our managed fleet for each third-party investor, and the tracking and billing of logistics moves. The failure of our systems to perform as we expect could disrupt our business, adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and cause our relationships with lessees and third-party investors to suffer. In addition, our information technology systems are vulnerable to damage or interruption from circumstances beyond our control, including fire, natural disasters, power loss and computer systems failures, unauthorized breach and viruses. Any such interruption could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, results of operations and financial prospects.

As a U.S. corporation, we are subject to U.S. Executive Orders and U.S. Treasury Sanctions Regulations regarding doing business in or with certain nations and specially designated nationals.

As a U.S. corporation, we are subject to U.S. Executive Orders and U.S. Treasury Sanctions Regulations restricting or prohibiting business dealings in or with certain nations and with certain specially designated nationals (individuals and legal entities). Any determination that we have violated such Executive Orders and U.S. Treasury Sanctions Regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.  

As a U.S. corporation, we are subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and a determination that we violated this act may affect our business and operations adversely.

As a U.S. corporation, we are subject to the regulations imposed by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which generally prohibits U.S. companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business. Any determination that we have violated the FCPA could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.  

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A failure to comply with export control or economic sanctions laws and regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition. We may be unable to ensure that our agents and/or customers comply with applicable sanctions and export control laws.

We face several risks inherent in conducting our business internationally, including compliance with applicable economic sanctions laws and regulations, such as laws and regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Commerce. We must also comply with all applicable export control laws and regulations of the United States (including but not limited to the U.S. Export Administration Regulations) and other countries. Any determination of a violation or an investigation into violations of export controls or economic sanctions laws and regulations could result in significant criminal or civil fines, penalties or other sanctions and repercussions, including reputational harm that could materially affect our business, results of operations or financial condition.

We may pursue acquisitions or joint ventures in the future that could present unforeseen integration obstacles or costs.

We have pursued, and may continue to pursue, acquisitions and joint ventures in the future. Acquisitions involve a number of risks and present financial, managerial and operational challenges, including:

potential disruption of our ongoing business and distraction of management;

customer retention;

difficulty integrating personnel and financial and other systems;

hiring additional management and other critical personnel; and

increasing the scope, geographic diversity and complexity of our operations.

In addition, we may encounter unforeseen obstacles or costs in the integration of acquired businesses. Also, the presence of one or more material liabilities of an acquired company that are unknown to us at the time of acquisition may have a material adverse effect on our business. Acquisitions or joint ventures may not be successful, we may not realize any anticipated benefits from acquisitions or joint ventures, we may realize dilutive earnings per share from such activities, and acquired businesses and joint ventures may incur losses.  

Fluctuations in foreign exchange rates could reduce our profitability.

Most of our revenues and costs are billed in U.S. dollars. Our operations and used equipment sales in locations outside of the U.S. have some exposure to foreign currency fluctuations, and trade growth and the direction of trade flows can be influenced by large changes in relative currency values. In addition, most of our container equipment fleet is manufactured in China. Although the purchase price is in U.S. dollars, our manufacturers pay labor and other costs in the local currency, the Chinese yuan. To the extent that our manufacturers’ costs increase due to changes in the valuation of the Chinese yuan, the dollar price we pay for equipment could be affected. Adverse or large exchange rate fluctuations may negatively affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.  



Risks Related to our Stock



Our stock price has been volatile and may remain volatile.

The trading price of our common stock may be subject to wide fluctuations in response to quarter-to-quarter variations in operating results, new products or services by us or our competitors, general conditions in the shipping industry and the intermodal equipment sales and leasing markets, changes in earnings estimates by analysts, or other events or factors which may or may not be under our control. Broad market fluctuations may adversely affect the market price of our common stock. Since the initial public offering of our stock at $15.00 per share on May 16, 2007, the market price of our stock has fluctuated significantly from a high of $40.11 per share to a low of $2.12  per share through  February 16, 2018. Since the trading volume of our stock is modest on a daily basis, shareholders may experience difficulties in liquidating our stock at an acceptable price. Factors affecting the trading price of our common stock may include:

variations in our financial results;

changes in financial estimates or investment recommendations by any securities analysts following our business;

the public’s response to our press releases, our other public announcements and our filings with the SEC;

our ability to successfully execute our business plan;

changes in accounting standards, policies, guidance, interpretations or principles;

future sales of common stock by us or our directors, officers or significant stockholders or the perception such sales may occur;

our ability to achieve operating results consistent with securities analysts’ projections;

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the operating and stock price performance of other companies that investors may deem comparable to us;

recruitment or departure of key personnel;

our ability to timely address changing equipment lessee and third-party investor preferences;

equipment market and industry factors;

the size of our public float;

general stock market conditions; and

other events or factors, including those resulting from war, incidents of terrorism or responses to such events.



In addition, if the market for companies deemed similar to us or the stock market in general experiences loss of investor confidence, the trading price of our common stock could decline for reasons unrelated to our business or financial results. The trading price of our common stock might also decline in reaction to events that affect other companies in our industry even if these events do not directly affect us.

Future new sales of our common stock by us or outstanding shares by existing stockholders, or the perception that there will be future sales of new shares from the Company or existing stockholders, may cause our stock price to decline and impair our ability to obtain capital through future stock offerings.

A substantial number of shares of our common stock held by our current stockholders could be sold into the public market at any time. In addition, the perception of, or actual sale of, new shares by us may materially and adversely affect our stock price and could impair our ability to obtain future capital through an offering of equity securities.

We do not currently pay dividends to holders of our common stock, and we cannot assure you that we will pay dividends to holders of our common stock in the future.

Although our board of directors may consider a dividend policy under which we would pay cash dividends on our common stock, any determinations by us to pay cash dividends on our common stock in the future will be based primarily upon our financial condition, results of operations, business requirements, tax considerations and our board of directors’ continuing determination that the declaration of dividends under the dividend policy are in the best interests of our stockholders and are in compliance with all laws and agreements applicable to the dividend program. In addition, the terms of our credit agreements contain provisions restricting the payment of cash dividends subject to certain exceptions. Consequently, investors may be required to rely on sales of their common stock as the only way to realize any future gains on their investment.

If securities analysts do not publish research or reports about our business or if they decrease their financial estimates or investment recommendations, the price of our stock could decline.

The trading market for our common shares may rely in part on the research and reports that industry or financial analysts publish about us or our business. We do not control or influence the decisions or opinions of these analysts and analysts may not cover us.

If any analyst who covers us decreases his or her financial estimates or investment recommendation, the price of our stock could decline. If any analyst ceases coverage of our company, we could lose visibility in the market, which in turn could cause our stock price to decline.

Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and Delaware law contain provisions that could discourage a third party from acquiring us and consequently decrease the market value of an investment in our common stock.

Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and Delaware corporate law each contain provisions that could delay, defer or prevent a change in control of our company or changes in our management. Among other things, these provisions:

authorize us to issue preferred stock that can be created and issued by the board of directors without prior stockholder approval, with rights senior to those of our common stock;

permit removal of directors only for cause by the holders of a majority of the shares entitled to vote at the election of directors and allow only the directors to fill a vacancy on the board of directors;

prohibit stockholders from calling special meetings of stockholders;

prohibit stockholder action by written consent, thereby requiring all stockholder actions to be taken at a meeting of our stockholders;

require the affirmative vote of 66 2/3% of the shares entitled to vote to amend our bylaws and certain articles of our certificate of incorporation, including articles relating to the classified board, the size of the board, removal of directors, stockholder meetings and actions by written consent;

allow the authorized number of directors to be changed only by resolution of the board of directors;

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establish advance notice requirements for submitting nominations for election to the board of directors and for proposing matters that can be acted upon by stockholders at a meeting;

classify our board of directors into three classes so that only a portion of our directors are elected each year; and

allow our directors to amend our bylaws.

These provisions could discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for our stockholders to elect directors and take other corporate actions, which may prevent a change of control or changes in our management that a stockholder might consider favorable. In addition, Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which makes unfriendly takeover more difficult, may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of us, which shareholders not affiliated with the takeover group might favor. Any delay or prevention of a change in control or change in management that stockholders might otherwise consider to be favorable could cause the market price of our common stock to decline.    



ITEM 1B:  UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.



ITEM 2: PROPERTIES

Office Locations.  As of December 31, 2017, we operated our business in 23 offices in 14 different countries including the U.S. We have 9 offices in the U.S. including our headquarters in San Francisco, California. We have 14 offices outside the U.S., including offices operated by third-party corporate service providers in Bermuda and Luxembourg. In addition, we have agents in Asia, Europe, South Africa, and South America. Our headquarters is used for our container leasing, rail leasing and logistics segments. Our offices in Everett, WA, Eatontown, NJ, Portland, OR, Tampa, FL, Jacksonville, FL, Knoxville, TN and Kennesaw, GA are used for our logistics segment operations. Each one of our other offices is used for our container leasing segment. All of our offices, except those operated by third party corporate service providers, are leased.

The following table summarizes our office locations as of December 31, 2017:

Office LocationsU.S.

San Francisco, CA (Headquarters)

Charleston, SC

Everett, WA

Eatontown, NJ

Portland, OR

Tampa, FL

Jacksonville, FL

Knoxville, TN

Kennesaw, GA

Office LocationsInternational

Brentwood, United Kingdom

St. Michael, Barbados

Antwerp, Belgium

Hong Kong

Singapore

Delmenhorst, Germany

Hamburg, Germany

Tokyo, Japan

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Taipei, Taiwan

Luxembourg

Hamilton, Bermuda

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Seoul, South Korea

Sydney, Australia



ITEM 3: LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

From time to time we may become a party to litigation matters arising in connection with the normal course of our business, including in connection with enforcing our rights under our leases. While we cannot predict the outcome of these matters, in the opinion of our management, any liability arising from these matters will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. Nevertheless, unexpected adverse future events, such as an unforeseen development in our existing proceedings, a significant increase in the number of new cases or changes in our current insurance arrangements could result in liabilities that have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. We are currently not party to any material legal proceedings which are material to our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

 

ITEM 4: MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

 

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PART II



ITEM 5: MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Our common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol “CAI.” The following table reflects the range of high and low sales prices of our common stock, as reported on the NYSE in each quarter of the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016:





 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 



High

 

Low

2017:

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth Quarter

$

40.11 

 

$

28.04 

Third Quarter

$

31.61 

 

$

22.60 

Second Quarter

$

24.50 

 

$

14.43 

First Quarter

$

17.92 

 

$

8.70 



 

 

 

 

 

2016:

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth Quarter

$

10.40 

 

$

6.75 

Third Quarter

$

9.32 

 

$

7.50 

Second Quarter

$

10.49 

 

$

6.88 

First Quarter

$

10.35 

 

$

4.83 



As of February 1, 2018, there were 40 registered holders of record of the common stock and 4,492 beneficial holders, based on information obtained from our transfer agent.

Dividends

We have never declared or paid dividends on our capital stock. Our board of directors may consider adopting a dividend policy in the future. Any determinations by us to pay cash dividends on our common stock in the future will be based primarily upon our financial condition, results of operations, business requirements, tax considerations and our board of directors’ continuing determination that the declaration of dividends under the dividend policy are in the best interests of our stockholders and are in compliance with all laws and agreements applicable to the dividend program. In the absence of such a policy, we intend to retain future earnings to finance the operation and expansion of our business, and to repurchase our common stock.  Our financing arrangements also contain restrictions on our ability to pay cash dividends and repurchase our common stock.

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Performance Graph

The graph below compares cumulative shareholder returns on our common stock as compared with the Russell 2000 Stock Index and the Dow Jones Transportation Stock Index for the period from December 31, 2012 to December 31, 2017. The graph assumes an investment of $100 as of December 31, 2012, and that all dividends were reinvested without the payment of any commissions. The stock performance shown on the performance graph below is not necessarily indicative of future performance.



Picture 1







 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

Returns as of December 31,

Company/Index

Dec. 31, 2012

 

2013

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

2017



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAI International, Inc.

$

100 

 

$

107 

 

$

106

 

$

46

 

$

39 

 

$

129 

Russell 2000 Index

 

100 

 

 

137 

 

 

142

 

 

134

 

 

160 

 

 

181 

Dow Jones Transportation Index

 

100 

 

 

139 

 

 

172

 

 

141

 

 

170 

 

 

200 



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ITEM 6: SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The selected financial data presented below have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements.  Historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results of operations to be expected in future periods. You should read the selected consolidated financial data and operating data presented below in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Consolidated Statement of Operations Data

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Year Ended December 31,



2017

 

2016

 

2015

 

2014

 

2013

(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Container lease revenue

$

235,365 

 

$

202,328 

 

$

220,732 

 

$

217,253 

 

$

205,226 

Rail lease revenue

 

32,476 

 

 

30,490 

 

 

17,433 

 

 

10,336 

 

 

7,179 

Logistics revenue

 

80,552 

 

 

61,536 

 

 

11,502 

 

 

 -

 

 

 -

Total revenue

 

348,393 

 

 

294,354 

 

 

249,667 

 

 

227,589 

 

 

212,405 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depreciation of rental equipment

 

110,952 

 

 

104,877 

 

 

113,590 

 

 

77,976 

 

 

67,109 

Storage, handling and other expenses

 

20,918 

 

 

35,862 

 

 

30,194 

 

 

26,043 

 

 

19,257 

Logistics transportation costs

 

68,155 

 

 

51,980 

 

 

10,172 

 

 

 -

 

 

 -

(Gain) loss on sale of used rental equipment

 

(5,347)

 

 

12,671 

 

 

654 

 

 

(6,522)

 

 

(7,356)

Administrative expenses

 

42,699 

 

 

35,678 

 

 

27,617 

 

 

26,538 

 

 

24,628 

Total operating expenses

 

237,377 

 

 

241,068 

 

 

182,227 

 

 

124,035 

 

 

103,638 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

 

111,016 

 

 

53,286 

 

 

67,440 

 

 

103,554 

 

 

108,767 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net interest expense

 

53,052 

 

 

42,754 

 

 

36,271 

 

 

35,592 

 

 

36,477 

Other expenses

 

765 

 

 

654 

 

 

182 

 

 

773 

 

 

1,190 

Total other expenses

 

53,817 

 

 

43,408 

 

 

36,453 

 

 

36,365 

 

 

37,667 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income before income taxes and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

non-controlling interest

 

57,199 

 

 

9,878 

 

 

30,987 

 

 

67,189 

 

 

71,100 

Income tax (benefit) expense

 

(14,861)

 

 

3,844 

 

 

4,252 

 

 

7,191 

 

 

7,057 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income

 

72,060 

 

 

6,034 

 

 

26,735 

 

 

59,998 

 

 

64,043 

Net income attributable to non-controlling interest

 

 -

 

 

37 

 

 

134 

 

 

111 

 

 

594 

Net income attributable to CAI common stockholders

$

72,060 

 

$

5,997 

 

$

26,601 

 

$

59,887 

 

$

63,449 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income per share attributable to CAI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

common stockholders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

$

3.74 

 

$

0.31 

 

$

1.28 

 

$

2.89 

 

$

2.86 

Diluted

$

3.68 

 

$

0.31 

 

$

1.27 

 

$

2.83 

 

$

2.80 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average shares outstanding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

19,253 

 

 

19,318 

 

 

20,773 

 

 

20,732 

 

 

22,157 

Diluted

 

19,607 

 

 

19,393 

 

 

20,988 

 

 

21,155 

 

 

22,672 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Financial Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EBITDA (unaudited)(1)

$

223,514 

 

$

159,274 

 

$

181,359 

 

$

181,910 

 

$

176,502 

Purchase of equipment

 

502,050 

 

 

251,165 

 

 

389,331 

 

 

307,283 

 

 

312,144 

36

 


 

Table of Contents

 



Consolidated Balance Sheet Data





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



As of December 31,



2017

 

2016

 

2015

 

2014

 

2013

(Dollars in thousands)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash*

$

47,209 

 

$

52,326 

 

$

59,765 

 

$

62,053 

 

$

54,994 

Rental equipment, net

 

2,004,961 

 

 

1,807,010 

 

 

1,748,211 

 

 

1,564,777 

 

 

1,465,092 

Net investment in direct finance leases

 

276,513 

 

 

100,541 

 

 

103,368 

 

 

94,964 

 

 

81,208 

Total assets

 

2,430,402 

 

 

2,055,934 

 

 

1,973,585 

 

 

1,784,018 

 

 

1,662,615 

Debt

 

1,702,822 

 

 

1,476,026 

 

 

1,419,809 

 

 

1,253,633 

 

 

1,125,553 

Total liabilities

 

1,866,557 

 

 

1,598,430 

 

 

1,513,480 

 

 

1,342,032 

 

 

1,248,021 

Total CAI stockholders' equity

 

563,845 

 

 

457,504 

 

 

459,182 

 

 

441,197 

 

 

414,000 

*Includes restricted cash of $11,789, $6,192, $7,212, $8,232, and $9,253 and cash owned by variable interest entities of $20,685, $30,449, $35,106,

$26,011, and $14,600 at December 31, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013, respectively.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selected Operating Data (unaudited):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owned container fleet in TEUs (2)

 

1,146,268 

 

 

921,694 

 

 

984,085 

 

 

934,101 

 

 

860,729 

Managed container fleet in TEUs (2)

 

80,736 

 

 

162,582 

 

 

198,093 

 

 

235,538 

 

 

283,725 



 

1,227,004 

 

 

1,084,276 

 

 

1,182,178 

 

 

1,169,639 

 

 

1,144,454 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owned container fleet in CEUs (3)

 

1,209,209 

 

 

1,014,078 

 

 

1,029,117 

 

 

961,244 

 

 

903,713 

Managed container fleet in CEUs (3)

 

73,530 

 

 

146,258 

 

 

177,958 

 

 

214,432 

 

 

262,071 



 

1,282,739 

 

 

1,160,336 

 

 

1,207,075 

 

 

1,175,676 

 

 

1,165,784 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owned railcar fleet in units

 

7,172 

 

 

6,459 

 

 

5,096 

 

 

2,361 

 

 

1,804 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percentage of on-lease container fleet on long-term leases (4)

 

72% 

 

 

75% 

 

 

74% 

 

 

73% 

 

 

75% 

Percentage of on-lease container fleet on short-term leases (4)

 

13% 

 

 

16% 

 

 

17% 

 

 

20% 

 

 

20% 

Percentage of on-lease container fleet on finance leases

 

15% 

 

 

9% 

 

 

9% 

 

 

7% 

 

 

5% 



 

100% 

 

 

100% 

 

 

100% 

 

 

100% 

 

 

100%