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Average Container Prices and Leasing Rates Decline in China Amidst Peak Season Shipping 

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Average Container Prices and Leasing Rates Decline in China Amidst Peak Season Shipping 

Average container prices have declined by more than half from the last year in August as China picks up containerized trade volumes more recently, according to an analysis published today by Container xChange, a technology marketplace and operating platform for container logistic companies. The analysis is a part of the monthly container logistics report published by Container xChange titled ‘Where Are All The Containers’.

The decline in average container prices and leasing rates offer good opportunities for shippers and freight forwarding companies to plan cargo as the supply chain braces for the peak season, typically from July to September.

Trade in China was impacted in the first half of the year, but the containerized trade seems to have picked up since July (2022) according to the analysis put together by Container xChange.

“Shippers are once again hoping that the exports will restore in full swing as the industry prepares for the peak season. Amidst this, there are more reasons for shippers to rejoice as the average container prices and one-way leasing rates Ex China shows a downward trend at a time when shipping is historically at its peak in the country. The average container prices are more than halved as compared to the last year, in August. Clearly, this brings cheers to the shippers and forwarders hoping to ship cargo containers out of China.” said Christian Roeloffs, Co-founder and CEO, Container xChange 

Shanghai Container Availability index (CAx) indicates that the CAx is 0.58 in week 33 as compared to 0.52 in 2021, 0.32 in 2020 and 2019 (pre-pandemic). This could potentially mean that there are more containers in China with reduced prices, making it easier for shippers and freight forwarders to plan trips from China.

“This is the peak shipping season, and the industry expects heavy outflow of containers from China to fulfil orders from demand centers. This year, we haven’t witnessed two key trends that are a norm during this time in previous years – a rise in leasing rates and container prices in China and a decline in CAx values,” added Roeloffs.

17% decline in one-way leasing pick-up rates of containers from China to the US from June to July.  

One-way leasing rates for standard containers, were in the range of $100-$300 before June 2021(see graph above). The rates picked up from July 2021 skyrocketing at $1470 in the month of July 2021 and peaking by September to reach $2792. The leasing rates then started to decline. This year in May, the leasing rates stood at $1277, plummeting to $1095 in June and further to $906 in the month of July.

On the China to Germany stretch, these one-way pick-up rates for leasing containers plummeted from $3394 in January 2022, further to $2428 in April and now to $1995 in the month of July.

China to Canada one-way leasing rates decline at the highest rate at 49 percent as compared to China to any other country 

The data shows a significant drop in the average per unit rates for 40HCs from China to Europe and North American countries. Canada is leading the fall with a 49.4% drop in the leasing rates between June and July. Right behind Canada is the US with a 32.5% drop in the average pick-up or PU (Pick Up) rates. For countries in Europe, the average one-way PU charges from China dropped by 16% in the UK, 13% in Germany, 18.4% in France, and 17.3% in Belgium.

In Qingdao and Shanghai, CAx remained over 0.5, in July, and continued increasing. The continued high CAx scores align with the decreased container rental fees and indicate a comparatively slowed-down movement of boxes at these ports. Ningbo’s CAx scores were lower than 0.5 in July indicating that more containers are leaving the port. And, that there’s probably more demand for export containers than full imports at the port and a likely delays cargo acceptance.

Average Trading prices in China halved year on year in August this year 

From around $5500 for a cargo-worthy standard container size in September 2021, and further declining from there to reach $3494 in May 2022, the current average trading price has plummeted to $2679 so far in August 2022. Last year in August, this average trading price was $5470. More than halved from last year same month.

About Container xChange  

Container xChange is a technology company that offers a container trading and leasing platform, payment infrastructure (for transparent and easier payment handling) and efficient operating systems to manage the end-to-end container movement across the globe for container logistic companies worldwide. Covering the entire transaction process of shipping containers starting with finding new partners to track containers and managing payments, xChange makes using 3rd party equipment as easy as booking a hotel. We are on a mission to simplify the logistics of global trade.

Being one of the top ten logistics tech companies globally, xChange is fundamentally transforming thousands of processes involved in moving containers globally. xChange is trusted by more than 1000 container logistic companies such as Kuehne+Nagel, Seaco or Sarjak that use xChange every day to improve operational effectiveness and improve productivity.


World’s Largest Container Vessels Arrive at HKSPA Terminal

Hong Kong Seaport Alliance announced the successful arrival of the OOCL Hong Kong and ten additional OOCL and Cosco Shipping Lines Ltd. mega vessels at the HKSPA Terminal 8 facility this week, just six months following the alliance’s formation. OOCL Hong Kong- known as one of the largest container vessels in the world, deployed along with the other mega vessels at the end of June for the OCEAN Alliance’s Asia-North Europe Service, which included Hong Kong as a port of call.

Hong Kong, despite being small in size, has been in the league of the world’s top ten ports for the past 30 years or so. This is an enviable achievement not easy to accomplish. Credits must go to our port operators for the provision of highly efficient and professional services to the international shipping community,” said Angela Lee, Commissioner for Maritime and Port Development and Deputy Secretary for Transport and Housing (Transport).

“Coupled with our sound fundamentals built over the years, including our free port status, strong international connectivity, trusted common law system, and a level playing field for business, I am confident that our port would be able to further leverage on new opportunities presented by the Greater Bay Area Development, the Belt and Road Initiative and the New Land-Sea Corridor, and continue to thrive as a regional transshipment hub,” Lee added.

The massive OOCL Hong Kong container vessel boasts 21,413 TEU capacity and holds the title as the first in the world to exceed the 21,000 TEU capacity threshold. There are currently only 12 container vessels that can boast capacity of this size, and eight of them are among the mega vessels deployed during the OCEAN Alliance’s Asia-North Europe Service, including Cosco Shipping’s GALAXY. 

“As a Hong Kong company deeply rooted in the city, OOCL HONG KONG’s maiden call has a very special place in many of our hearts, said Andy Tung, Co-Chief Executive Officer of OOCL. “Containerships like the OOCL HONG KONG are important ambassadors of world trade and as a home carrier, we are very proud to have this vessel carry the name of Hong Kong, flying the flag of Hong Kong, and continue serving the industries of Hong Kong. OOCL is very blessed to call Hong Kong our home and being an integral part of the city’s vibrant business community over the last 50 years, providing a vital link to global trade. We like to thank the HKSPA for the wonderful hospitality and celebrating this milestone event together with us.” 

“We are proud of being ranked as the World’s Best Transshipment Port by COSCO SHIPPING this year,” said Hanliang Zhu, Managing Director of the Asia Container Terminals Limited (ACT) during the welcoming reception. “We will keep on working closely with the carriers as well as the shippers and other logistics providers to maintain Hong Kong as a reliable transshipment hub in the region.”