Container equipment availability is very low across Asian main ports – and also below last year’s levels.
An index of 0.5 describes a balanced market, below 0.5 a shortage of containers.
Chart: Example Container Availability Index (CAx) for 40HC in Shanghai (2020 vs. 2019)
Historically equipment in Asia becomes less scarce towards the end of the year – but not this year:
Q1/Q2 lockdowns disrupted supply-chains, causing significantly longer overall transit times (and hence less trips per container per year – effectively reducing container supply)
Global demand recovery in late Q2/Q3 increased trade volume ex Asia to Europe/North America massively – effectively clearing container stocks in Asia
These volumes are now underway to Europe/North America
At the same time container returns to Asia are delayed as containers especially in North America currently take significantly longer between vessel discharge and containers available for export or empty positioning to Asia
Source: Container xChange
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