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  December 24th, 2023 | Written by

Supply Chain Professionals Embrace Tech, Anticipate Positive Growth, and Strategize for Overcapacity Challenges

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Container xChange, the world’s leading online container logistics platform, recently conducted a comprehensive survey with 1200 supply chain professionals globally. 

The collective results reveal an optimistic outlook for 2024, as respondents foresee positive growth in the global container shipping industry in 2024 as compared to 2023. 74% of respondents expressing optimism about the industry’s growth, 20% expecting stability, and only 6% anticipating a decline. Most participants anticipate an increase in container prices compared to 2023 levels. 

“As we navigate the evolving landscape of the global container shipping industry, the positive shift in sentiment revealed by our annual survey is a promising indicator for 2024. Supply chain professionals are strategically rethinking trade routes and embracing technology to foster resilience and innovation. While we are optimistic about the industry’s growth, we remain vigilant, recognizing potential disruptions in 2024, such as geopolitical tensions. explained Christian Roeloffs, cofounder and CEO of Container xChange. 

Another indication of improving market sentiment witnessed as part of the annual survey is that 53% of respondents expect container prices to increase in the coming year as compared to the year 2023, while 26% expect these prices to remain stable at these rates, and only 21% pessimistic about the prices to decline further. 

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Chart 1: Survey with 1200 supply chain professionals about how they expect container prices to develop in the year 2024

The Container Price Sentiment Index (xCPSI) which is an industry sentiment barometer from Container xChange, mirrors this positive sentiment as it has been showing consistently higher values in the H2 of this year (starting July) as compared to the H1, showcasing an improving sentiment for container prices in the second half of the year 2023.

Particularly in the Q4’23, the sentiment has been consistently higher as compared to the rest of the three quarters in 2023.

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Chart 2: Container xChange Container Price Sentiment Index (xCPSI), sentiment consistently improves significantly in the H2’23

These findings were released as the company published results of its annual xChange industry speak survey 2023-24. The survey was released to 1200 container logistics players globally including shipping lines, container traders, freight forwarding companies, NVOCCs, shippers and procurement companies. The objective of the survey was to study the industry sentiment, key learnings from the year 2023 and outlook for the year 2024 from the players.

Majority of respondents said that they are planning to invest in technology for forecasting and planning (30%) followed by real time visibility and tracking (24%), collaboration and connectivity (27%) and lastly, process automation (18%). 

Chart 3: Container xChange Year-end survey 2023-24 – Key Supply Chain Tech Investments in 2024

“Our survey underscores a significant emphasis on technology adoption among supply chain professionals, with forecasting and planning as top of mind for our customers. The industry’s recognition of the pivotal role played by real-time visibility, collaboration, and process automation reflects a collective commitment to efficiency and strategic planning.” said Roeloffs.

When asked where they plan to prioritize the technology investments in 2024, the share of each amongst the four were distributed almost evenly, while forecasting and planning remaining top of mind for these professionals who responded. 

When asked about how the oversupply of containers would be managed in 2024, most respondents believe that exploring to new markets and trade routes will be a key strategy used by carriers to tackle the overcapacity conundrum in 2024. Other popular tactics will be scrapping old vessels and slow steaming strategies. 

Chart 4: Container xChange Year-end survey 2023-24 – How will the carriers tackle the oversupply in the market in 2024