Understanding one way container is important because it helps you save money on empty container repositioning. Learn more about what it means and how it’s beneficial for your business in this blog. Also, get to know the shortcut to kickstart a successful one-way journey on Container xChange.

Empty container repositioning is an expensive affair for most container owners. Imagine if you could save all that money, you’re currently using on moving your empty containers but still get the boxes moved to where you need them.

That’s exactly what one-way containers –aka cabotage containers – do. One-way containers are called precisely that because the user leases the box one way, e.g., from Los Angeles, the US, to Shanghai, China. That’s it.

If you already have empty boxes you’d like to move to your desired location, use our public search below. You’ll see a list of container users on xChange currently looking for one way containers on your stretches.

Select ‘I want to supply’ and fill out where you want your containers picked up and dropped off and get started!

Please select a location.
Please select a location.

One way container meaning and how it works to benefit your business

One-way container = container user leasing your container for a one-way trip. So, they move their cargo by paying the usual freight charges. While you, the owner, transport your box without incurring the costs of empty container repositioning. The container user gets cargo moved, and you get your box where you need it. The user also pays for shipping the box. You don’t have to pay anything to get your box to your preferred location.

Bonus: If you like what you just read and want to make a one way move right away, then try our xChange Insights feature. You’ll have access to actual one-way leasing rates in 180 locations globally. You can compare pick-up charges, free days, and per diems for different stretches as well and see their development for up to 2 years. Check out this feature for yourself and, try Insights for free.

 Benefits of one way container leasing

Apart from the benefits seen above, there are other advantages of leasing a one way container. Let’s explore them with an example:

There are large amounts of commodities shipped from China to the US. The export exceeds the imports. Therefore, China doesn’t have enough containers coming back. When the containers arrive in the US, they pile up at the ports since the import here exceeds the export. This produces a surplus of containers in the US and a deficit in China creating a container flow imbalance.

Situations like these can lead to a lot of empty containers sitting at ports collecting unnecessary surcharges such as

  • Handling charges at terminals and ports
  • Port storage and maintenance at warehouses
  • Inland transportation
  • Seaborn repositioning

With one-way containers, you can move your empty boxes to your desired destination by cutting out all these surcharges. You wouldn’t have to pay to move them, and you’d be free of the administrative hassle of figuring out slots on vessels, trucking, and so on.

Leasing one-way containers allows you to have flexible positioning possibilities with pre-determined locations. This advantage of one way translates to great revenue and saving tons of dollars on empty container repositioning.

Now you might have empty boxes that you want to use as one-way containers but can’t find users who’d be interested. You send out a dozen emails or spend hours calling several sources, with no leads. Then come the extensive contract negotiations and background checks on partners and the tracking of your box. It’s tough, and we understand this.

Well, Container xChange covers all this for you and gets you, vetted users, for your one-way container move at your fingertips!

Know pickup charges and CAx values at ports to simplify one way container moves

To help you make informed decisions on one-way moves, we’re going to cover some pick-up charges and the container availability at ports from our recent monthly logistics report.

Please note: CAx means Container Availability Index. It’s an index (tool) that allows you to monitor the import and export moves of full containers around major ports. A CAx of value 0.5 means that the same number of containers enter and exit a port in the same week. When CAx is higher than 0.5, more containers enter and when CAx is lower than 0.5, more containers exit a specific port.

  • China to Russia was our most popular stretch and the average pickup (PU) charge for leasing a container in this route was US $905.
  • Average PU rate from Ningbo to Moscow was US $985 and the same from Shanghai was US $830.
  • The pick up charges from India to countries in the Middle East has been rising – from US $5 in January to US $37 in April.
  • Europe, however, is struggling with overcapacity this year. All the major ports in Europe displayed a CAx score above 0.80 in April. This means more containers are entering the ports than leaving (this is in line with our example above. There’s a surplus of containers here).
  • CAx values for some of the primary ports in the US have stayed above 0.75, highlighting that there are enough containers available in these ports.

You can know the best time, prices, CAx values, and routes to reposition your empty containers easily with the help of our monthly report. We constantly study the market and identify the most liquid locations to reposition both empties as well as different types of containers.

We also report on congestion at the global ports, workers’ strikes, new shipping routes, and overcapacity/shortage of containers. For a roundup of regions that have the best profit options; to know how to reposition containers; and to read our forecasts for the months ahead, you can download a free copy of our report Where are all the Containers.

How can Container xChange help with a one way container move?

Container xChange can help with a one way container move by providing you with 1,500+ vetted certified companies on our platform to make your one way offer. All our members go through a mandatory vetting process to ensure that you only work with verified names. This gives you the opportunity to work with big names in the industry such as Kuehne + Nagel, Seaco Global, and Cosco, to name a few.

The process is easy. You pick a company you like after seeing their profile, reviews, and ratings and speak to them through our marketplace directly via chats and calls.

We also have a standard one-way leasing agreement on Container xChange. During the one-way leasing transaction, all members sign the BIMCO contract to evade confusion as both parties remain informed and are on the same page. With this, you can avoid the hassle of networking by yourself and scheduling endless calls and lengthy email exchanges with multiple companies about contracts and terms. On xChange, we make your negotiations smoother and your work faster.

Make your one way journey smooth and hassle-free by clicking on the banner below.

What is the difference between one way container and one trip container?

The difference between one-way container and one-trip container is very distinct. However, most times they are confused with one another and are used interchangeably. Thus, it’s essential for you to know these terms like the back of your hand.

The image below gives you a pictorial understanding.

one way container vs one trip

Find certified partners to start your one way container journey today

Just imagine the amount of money you’ll save after you’ve minimized the number of empty containers you reposition. We know that many companies swallow the cost of empty repositioning because it seems too unmanageable to do anything differently. But that doesn’t have to be you.

What will be a better deal than having someone else move the box for you – and pay for the shipping? Container xChange is here to make it easy for you to offer one-way containers. With our online neutral platform, you can automatically update your one-way offers and find vetted partners. There’s also an easy-to-use payment handling feature that sends you one consolidated bill and handles all your transactions in one place. Additionally, you can monitor your container in near real-time and stay up-to-date. How cool is that!

The list of benefits only gets better. With xChange, you can:

  • Adjust your deal terms such as container condition, type, per diems, repair, and cleaning charges with just a few clicks.
  • Check progress and keep track of your deal changes with the help of the activity log.
  • Get a flexible API that integrates directly with your existing system.
  • Examine your credits or charges online in real time, instead of frequently approving piles of paper invoices.
  • Acquire credits within a flash for your per diems & pick-up charges in xChange’s digital wallet.

Are you ready to get started on one way container journey and crack a good deal? Click on the banner below and our expert team will guide you to your box in a few steps today!

One way container: Common FAQs

What is a one way container?

One-way containers are called precisely that because the container user only uses the box one way, e.g., from Los Angeles, the US., to Shanghai, China. That’s it. The container user leases the shipping container for that one journey.

What is one way shipping?

One way shipping refers to the process of a container making a journey across one stretch carrying cargo one way from point A to B. A container owner rents out your containers for a solitary, one-way trip.

Are shipping containers only used once?

Yes, shipping containers are typically reused and re-purposed for a variety of commercial and residential needs. Shipping containers are originally used as intermodal storage containers that efficiently transport large, bulky, and heavy cargo overseas.

What happens to empty shipping containers?

Usually, three things happen with empty shipping containers. The empty shipping containers are loaded with a new batch of cargo and shipped from the port to their new destination. They are shipped to their new destination sans cargo due to empty shipping repositioning. Or, they get piled up at depots and ports.