Trading prices and leasing rates decline for second-hand containers

May 15 | 2022

The latest container logistics report issued by Container xChange, a marketplace and technology infrastructure provider for container logistics companies, indicates a decline in average prices for second-hand containers.

Trading prices and leasing rates decline for second-hand containersThe report also shows a decline in average one-way pickup charges for containers Ex China to Europe North, Europe Med, Northeast Asia and the Middle East and Indian Sub-continent (ISC).

While pick-up charges for a 40HC and 20DC from China to these regions increased in March, they declined in April, with prices at $2,930, and $1,200 respectively.

Commenting on these developments, Christian Roeloffs, Co-Founder and CEO of Container xChange, said: “The ever-increasing disruptions have led to increased uncertainties in the supply chain. However, it does seem like we have now reached the peak container turnaround times. The container demand vs supply has reached near balance levels and that will mean that prices will also taper off a little bit while probably not falling through the floor as is evident in the report. Beyond this, it really depends on the disruptions. Once China resumes operations in full swing, there will be a pent-up demand for containers considering we have peak season coming. This will cause a traffic jam of vessels and the demand for containers will rise causing container prices to shoot up again (in mid-term).”

“In the long run, however, this pent-up demand for containers will eventually ease and then we can expect that there will be a surplus of containers leading to container prices stabilising or even falling again.”

As Bloomberg reported in April, China accounts for about 12% of global trade. COVID restrictions have halted operations at factories and warehouses, slowed truck deliveries and exacerbated container logjams.

Christian continued: “Container prices have not crashed completely. This is because of two things: one is that much capacity is tied up on the vessels waiting outside China with containers filled with cargo; the second is that the big players are not currently offering their containers in China. They are waiting for the China lockdowns to ease, hopeful that the prices will shoot up again so that they may offer the same containers at a higher price in China, making more profit. This is effectively taking out the capacity from the market.”

The US and European ports are already swamped, leaving them vulnerable to additional shocks. In April, both the ports of Houston and New York continued to face cumbersome amounts of imports. New York too faced the pressure of high import volumes. In fact, the number of empty lockouts in April was unprecedented.

For a complete visibility into what’s happening in the market, please download the full report from here.