Massive Accumulation Of Empty Containers At Major Chinese Ports

It was reported on Nov 25 that the phenomenon of a massive accumulation of empty containers at major Chinese ports largely contrasted with last year’s cargo boom. The shipping season at the end of this year is unusually quiet. Mrs Tang is a China-Europe land transport coordinator. She described an increasing amount of empty containers are stockpiling at Chinese ports amid weakening demand. She said empty shipping containers are piling up at ports including Guangzhou , Yantian , and Shekou . Tang added she heard some say that cargoes are even seen piling up on roads due to lack of space for placement, while others say 90% of container spaces are occupied. The transport coordinator explained that Chinese semi-trucks used to haul loaded containers to the terminal, and pick up empty containers for the next load. But now most of them are no longer picking up empty containers, because there is no upcoming shipment. The market condition now is different from the cargo boom last year, in which forwarders were standing in a queue for the whole night to fight for an empty container. Tang commented that compared to 2021, the fourth quarter of 2022 was very quiet and the freight rate was also very low. She anticipated the situation will not improve even in the first quarter of next year. According to a container shipping data provider in China, the freight rates from the Far East to Europe, and from Europe to the Middle East and Africa (EMEA)continued to fall. At the same time, the volume is also decreasing across all trade lanes.

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Translator: NFSC News
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