Container xChange has used its Container Availability Index to assess the impact of Coronavirus on the supply and demand of containers in China
Container xChange tracking and analytics manager David Amezquita said “Everyone is talking about the Coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Such major unpredicted world events often have a huge impact on shipping and container logistics.”
He says that downsides from decreased vessel demand “far outweigh” positives from fleet inefficiencies, particularly in cases when an epidemic epicentre is China. He says “Such events lower utilisation rates for shipping lines and increase costs on routes, as companies are concerned that Chinese employees will not work at mills, refineries, factories and terminals due to the quarantine situation.”
The Chinese government already expanded the New Year holidays by three days, he says.
Publishing the Container Availability Index, Container xChange is now able to look at how the current situation impacts the supply and demand of containers in China. The index takes millions of data points, from transactions on xChange as well as globally available tracking data, into account to forecast the availability of equipment for most of the biggest port locations.
Looking at the world biggest port in Shanghai, China, the Container Availability Index shows relatively high values for 40 HCs (0.58), 40DCs (0.46) and 20DCS (0.62). Every number above 0.5 indicates a surplus of equipment, meaning that “containers are piling up in Shanghai right now and should be easy to get for container users”.
Looking back at the last two years, the index can see container availability growing by 10% from 2019 and by 17.7% from 2018.
Mr Amezquita adds “However, the container availability forecast shows similar values for 40 HCs (0.55), 40DCs (0.17) and 20DCS (0.55) in Qingdao - indicating one small deficit of containers… maybe because companies are still trying to get their cargo out of China from a port further away from Wuhan.”