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Chinese ports exceed 200 million TEUs in 2023 so far, Shanghai and Ningbo remain on top

Container volume at China ports rose by 4.8% in the January-August period, compared to the same months last year.

The container throughput of Chinese ports was 203.7 million TEUs, while for the same period, the cargo volume of major Chinese ports was 11.1 billion tons, translating to an 8.4% rise year-on-year.

The following table mentions cargo and container throughput data from China’s twelve major ports.

As seen in the table, the port of Shanghai has maintained its dominance, being the busiest container port in the country with 32 million TEUs.

The port of Ningbo & Zhoushan is the second busiest box port in China with 24 million TEUs and in the third place, we find the port of Shenzhen with 19 million TEUs.

At the same time, the port of Shenzhen was the only one from the list that reported a year-on-year decline in its container volumes from January to August with its throughout falling by 2.1%.

Meanwhile, the largest percentage growths were registered at the smaller ports of Yinkou, Beibu Gulf, Dalian and Lianyungang. Yinkou reported year-on-year box growth of 21.7%, Beibu Gulf achieved a 15% container increase, Dalian saw its TEU volumes rise by 14.3% and Lianyungang increased its throughput by 14.2%.

Source: Container News


Spot rates for Shanghai container exports fall on all routes

Freight rates for container exports from China continued to decline in the eight week of the year despite transportation capacity adjustments.

According to the Shanghai Shipping Exchange, the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), a measure for spot prices for container exports from Shanghai that do not include terminal handling charges (THCs), fell 2.9% to 946.68 points (SSE). For the seventh week in a row, the composite indicator has been falling.

On east-west trade lanes, spot rates for containers from Shanghai to Europe fell 3.1% to US$882 per TEU, which have trended down for seven weeks in a run, and to the Mediterranean, rates waned 1.7% to US$1,605 per TEU.

Average prices fell 3.1% to US$1,234 per FEU on the route to North America’s west coast, where they have been falling for four weeks in a row, and 4.2% to US$2,391 per FEU on the route to the east coast, where they have been falling for 38 weeks in a row.

According to Japan International Freight Forwarders Association (JIFFA), spot prices for containers from China to the Middle East Gulf on north-south lines fell 4.6% to US$1,029 per TEU. Remaining bearish for three straight weeks, they have managed to remain above the US$1,000-per-TEU level since September 2022.

Spot rates dropped 6.2% to US$346 per TEU for exports to Australia and New Zealand, which have been in the single digits since October and have fallen as low as those for cargoes to Japan. Container spot prices to South America remained steady with a marginal drop of 0.1% to US$1,507 per TEU. They have, however, stayed higher than pre-pandemic values since the beginning of the year, ranging between US$1,400 and US$1,500 per TEU. Spot prices for African shipments fell across the board.

Furthermore, spot prices in intra-Asian seas fell 1.5% to US$326 per TEU on the route to Japan’s Kansai region and 1.2% to US$336 per TEU on the route to Japan’s Kanto region. Container rates to Southeast Asia fell 3.7% to US$155 per TEU, while rates to South Korea fell 1.4% to US$208 per TEU.

Source: Container News


Shanghai Port Group launches “land-to-water” container service

The Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) has announced a container “land-to-water” service, covering the ports in the Yangshan area and Waigaoqiao area of Shanghai Port to related ports in the Yangtze River and Yangtze River Delta areas.

The measure is taken in order to alleviate the pressure on road transportation caused by the impacts of the epidemic, which led to phased lockdowns in the Shanghai municipality.

Under the service, customers can first transport containers to Taicang Service Center, and then transfer them by ship to Shanghai Port, and divert customers’ road transportation needs to waterways through “land to water” to ensure smooth logistics channels during the pandemic days.

Also, as the most important import and export area in Shanghai, the Pudong district has brought together important hubs like Pudong International Airport, Yangshan Port Area, and Waigaoqiao Port Area.

To keep the port area secured from the outbreak of coronavirus, the port group also launched the electronic epidemic prevention pass for truck drivers entering the area to unload and load boxes there.

The platform generates electronic epidemic prevention passes for drivers to use on their mobile phones by connecting the nucleic acid detection data and sends code information of the big data center combined with the business information of electronic equipment handover orders, which significantly improves the logistics turnover efficiency of container vehicles.

Since 28 March, Shanghai has implemented the nucleic acid screening in batches with the Huangpu River as the boundary.

The Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration also strictly implemented epidemic prevention and control measures, keeps a close eye on the safety line of defense, implemented unitised management, and strictly implemented the 24-hour shift system for leaders and key positions.

Under the full protection of the Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration, the flow of ships in key waters like Shanghai Port, Huangpu River, Shanghai section of the Yangtze River, and the mouth of the Yangtze River has remained stable during the pandemic days.

On the other hand, in terms of public transportation– the operation of buses, subways, ferries, taxis, and online car-hailing has been suspended in the closed area of Shanghai.

Source: Container News


Congestion fears as Shanghai enters two-phase lockdown

Congestion around the world’s busiest container port is expected to intensify as Shanghai will be locked down in two stages for a Covid-19 mass testing exercise.

Shanghai’s lockdown began at 05AM local time yesterday (28 March), with the areas east of the Huangpu River entering a four-day lockdown. Subsequently, areas west of the Huangpu River will be sealed off for four days. During the lockdowns, residents will be barred from leaving their homes and public transport will be suspended.

While Shanghai Port has asserted that it will remain open throughout the lockdown, Linerlytica analyst Tan Hua Joo told Container News that the lockdowns will add to port congestion.

Tan said, “Exports will be curtailed as factory production is affected while ports remain open. However, based on what was observed during the lockdown at Shenzhen, port operations were affected by manpower shortages so an increase in port congestion is expected.”

Linerlytica’s data shows that worsening port congestion has affected more than 14% of total containership capacity for the first time last week, with further increases expected due to the Shanghai lockdown.

US electric vehicle maker Tesla is understood to have halted production at its Shanghai factory during the lockdown, according to Bloomberg.

Taiwanese newspaper United Daily News said that Taiwanese owners of electronics factories in Kunshan in China’s Jiangsu province are panicking as the lockdowns will impede them from moving their goods to Shanghai for export. Complicating the situation is China’s two-day Tomb Sweeping holiday on 4 to 5 April, which coincides with the stipulated end of Shanghai’s lockdown.

China, adopting a zero-Covid-19 policy, is battling a resurgence of the outbreak that first appeared in Wuhan in late 2019, resulting in lockdowns in Shenzhen (since lifted) and Jilin province. As of 27 March, at least 6,000 local transmissions were reported nationwide.

In an advisory sent to customers, UK freight forwarder Embrace Global Logistics said that disruptions to factory production and delays in shipping to and from Shanghai can be expected.

The advisory stated, “The decision (to lock down) came as a surprise as city officials until very recently assured that no such action was planned. Factories and companies would be allowed to operate either under the ‘closed loop’ system or on a work-from-home basis. That means factories are sealed off with only limited staff working and living inside the areas.”

The company said its staff living in the affected areas will be working from home, as all operational and administrative activities will continue as usual but strictly adhering to the new guidelines.

Embrace added that Ningbo port, although within close proximity of Shanghai, is not affected at all.

Source: Container News


Maersk targets transpacific premium market with extra standalone services

Maersk will launch two new weekly services on the transpacific in August to operate “exclusively” outside its 2M alliance with MSC and Zim slot charter partnership.