© Binkski

Here’s the latest, monthly ocean market update published by DHL Global Forwarding:

Topic of the month: Container shortage in Asia

Box shortage on headhaul trades pushes up rates and starts to affect backhaul trades

A combination of very strong cargo demand in Asia and an increasing shortage of 40’ containers has seen spot rates for Chinese export rising sharply over the last few weeks. Carriers put priority on getting empty 40’ containers in China to take advantage of the lucrative rates on headhaul trades.

Carrying cargo at low rates on backhaul trades is obviously becoming less interesting as the inland transport and the stuffing and stripping of the boxes takes extra time. Some carriers seem to be willing to send empty containers immediately back to China for faster turnaround. Therefore availability of empty containers might become restricted for backhaul trades as carriers want to re-position empty 40’ boxes to Asia as fast as possible.

Obtaining empty containers from carriers for shipments on backhaul trades will be easier for exporters based in the immediate vicinity of ports, but it remains essentially an issue of rates. The box shortage in Asia is predicted to last until Chinese New Year (on 12 February 2021).

To download the full pdf presentation, please click here.

You may also want to read this: “Costco expects container shortages through March“.


Comment on this article

You must be logged in to post a comment.