Average container prices and leasing rates plummet in China

AN analysis published by Container xChange shows that average container prices have declined in China to more than half from last year in August, at a time when containerised trade picks up in the country to fulfil the demand for the peak shipping season.


""This is the peak shipping season, and the industry expects heavy outflow of containers from China to fulfil orders from demand centres. 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,"" 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 lucrative for shippers and freight forwarders to plan cargo trips from China.


The monthly container logistics report published by Container xChange, titled 'Where are all the containers', also shows that one-way leasing rates for standard containers were in the range of US$100-$300 before June 2021 and then skyrocketing to $1,470 in the following month and then peaking by September to reach $2,792.


The leasing rates then started to decline. This year in May, the leasing rates stood at $1,277, plummeting to $1,095 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 $3,394 in January 2022, further to $2,428 in April and to $1,995 in the month of July.


China to Canada one-way leasing rates declined at the highest rate at 49 per cent as compared to China to any other country


Furthermore, the data shows a significant drop in the average per unit rates for 40HCs from China to Europe and North American countries.


Canada leads with a 49.4 per cent drop in the leasing rates between June and July, followed by US with a 32.5 per cent 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 per cent in the UK, 13 per cent in Germany, 18.4 per cent in France, and 17.3 per cent in Belgium.


From around $5,500 for a cargo-worthy standard container size in September 2021, it declined to $3,494 in May 2022 and nosedived to $2,679 far in August, nearly half the rate of $5,470 in the same month last year.


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Average container prices and leasing rates plummet in China
Average container prices and leasing rates plummet in China