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Containers spend 45 days stuck in depots, shortage continues

Alexander Kliem - Pixabay View of a containership at sea
While shipping lines grapple with a shortage of containers large numbers of boxes are stuck in depots according to data from Container xChange.

Container availability in China remains at record lows and at its extreme Container xChange’s container availability index shows that 40-foot High Cube availability in Shanghai is just 0.05 points, compared 0.63 points a year earlier. Any number lower than 0.5 points indicates a shortage of equipment.

Although a major issue is that containers are piled up in ports in the US and in short supply in load ports in China research by FraunhoferCML and Container xChange shows the shortage is being exacerbated by the lengthy periods empty boxes spend in depots. The research shows that on average containers spend 45 days empty in depots.

In China and the US the number of days empty containers spend in depots is considerably higher at 61 to 66 days.

By comparison for the Middle East the number is 21 days and Europe 23 days, showing that containers in China are US are spending an extra 40-days idle rather than earning money, and driving up the shortage of equipment.