Container ports all over the world, with the exception of China, face imminent congestion
Container xChange forecasts upcoming congestion at box ports globally when a multitude of boxes sent from factories in Asia arrive at their import destinations.
As the infection rate of the Covid-19 in China has declined and production has resumed, a large number of containers which had piled up in China have finally sailed to Europe and North America, it said.
Container xChange chief executive Christian Roeloffs said “We can finally see the numbers in Shanghai go down to more normal levels again while equipment availability seems to be on good levels in Europe and the US as well. But with all the lockdowns and having ships arriving from China soon, we will most likely see an increase in port storage and demurrage charges as well.
He pointed out that with Container Availability Index (CAx) values of 0.17 (20DCs) and 0.33 (40DCs), it seems the Port of Shanghai is back at full productivity. Mr Roeloffs comments “In the past couple of weeks, containers had piled up – CAx values of greater than 0.6 indicate a surplus of equipment – due to multitudinous blank sailings, something that would normally not happen often.”
Being able to forecast the development of the next three weeks, the CAx values for Shanghai will decrease from 0.41 for 20DCS in week 14, indicating that equipment will become more scarce again.
However, Mr Roeloffs says “The effects of Covid-19 have dramatically affected consumer demand in the US and Europe. Buyers have begun to cancel orders as most of these countries are now in a severe lockdown situation and warehouse capacity is being maxed out. The incoming containers are most likely causing congestion, and incurring storage and demurrage charges at, for instance, the Port of Los Angeles or the Port of Hamburg.”
With CAx values of 0.38 (20DCs) and 0.57 (40HCs) for Hamburg and values of 0.82 (40DCs) and 0.3 (40HCs) for Los Angeles, the Container Availability Index also forecasts increasing equipment volumes in these ports. The forecast takes millions of containers tracked through Container xChange into account.
Mr Roeloffs sums up “The next couple of weeks will tell us if the Covid-19 situation eases in the western world. To remain competitive, European freight forwarders and shippers are expected to increase their usage of SOC containers to avoid demurrage charges.”