China’s Shipping-Container Prices Hit All-Time Highs, Expected to go Higher due to Shortage

Shipping-container rates hit all-time highs in August, which analysts said will continue to rise for the rest of the year due to strong global trade demand amid shortages.

Maritime think tank Drewry reported that container freight rates surged to $9,817.72 per 40 feet container in August, higher by 351 percent compared to last year.

Analysts said that freight prices will continue to increase because of key ports in China closing down from health protocols.

The Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, the world’s biggest in terms of cargo tonnage, temporarily halted operations from August 11 until August 25 after a staff tested positive for COVID-19.

A three-week lockdown at Yantian Port in Shenzhen in southern China from May to June also continues to push prices up, according to Container xChange.

“We saw a real and measurable spike in container prices, and a major drop in container availability as measured by our Container Availability Index, when terminals at Yantian saw operations disrupted through most of June,” said Container xChange’s co-founder Christian Roeloffs.

Johannes Schlingmeier, also a co-founder of Container xChange, added that even without additional port closures, freight rates are still likely to rise from shortages caused by lags in schedule and already-high prices.

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