Global Container Logistics Report: July 2024

Your monthly container logistics update is here! This is a report on container prices, availability, and market trends. It covers ports in Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Middle East, Europe, and the US. It also includes:

  • A roundup of the global events impacting the industry and the way forward

  • Prices to buy, sell and lease containers along with monthly trends

  • Container availability updates (2020 – 2024)

  • Smart container moves, pick-up charges, profit options, and the most liquid locations

  • Top 5 locations with biggest WoW growth and drop on Container xChange

What happened in June?

Report overview

Asia: Carriers grapple with demand despite capacity boost

Ocean carriers received almost 1.6 million TEUs of capacity this year, but this has not balanced supply and demand on Asia-Europe and trans-Pacific routes. This persists despite carriers’ efforts to manage unseasonally heavy volumes, longer voyages around southern Africa, and congestion in key Asian ports. Only 77 container ships, totaling 217,038 TEUs, are currently idle in the entire global fleet—a figure not seen since the pandemic.

Experts are divided on whether the early start to the traditional peak season will lead to an early end. Some believe that demand could remain strong in Q3. On the other hand, Christian Roeloffs, co-founder and CEO, Container xChange suggests that this trend could soon lead to a price reversal as the market adapts to ongoing disruptions and volatility.

The container leasing rate for a 40ft HC container from ports in China to the US is $1,570 in July, an increase from $1,180 in June 2024.

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The ISC and ME: Congestion moves to India: Mundra Port struggles with rising transshipment volumes

A ray of hope appears as vessel delays are decreasing at major ports in North and Southeast Asia, and equipment availability is improving in China. However, this improvement is countered by congestion spreading to India. Mundra, India’s largest container gateway, is struggling with increasing transshipment volumes. Recent trade updates indicate that container dwell times at Mundra have lengthened significantly over the past few weeks due to a slowdown in import clearance in congested container yards.

The price of 20ft cargo-worthy shipping container price for a 20ft cargo-worthy container in India was $1,040 in June 2024, up slightly from $996 in May 2024.

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Europe: China-Europe rail freight faces delays, yet faster than ocean shipping

The China-Europe Railway Express, also known as China Railway Express (CRE), is an international multimodal container rail network. It provides overland transportation, bypassing traditional maritime routes. However, the current shift from congested ocean routes to the China-Europe rail network is leading to significant delays at key transfer points along the China-Kazakhstan border.

The first freight train from China to Türkiye on a new route through the Middle Corridor was dispatched on June 28. This train was loaded with 110 containers and departed from Nanjing in China’s Jiangsu Province, bound for Istanbul, taking the Central Asia-Caspian Sea-Azerbaijan-Georgia route.

The average container leasing rates for 40ft HC container from China to Europe increased from $1,463 in June to $2,223 in July 2024. This marks a 51% increase in just a month.

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The US: Space allotment reductions in eastbound trans-Pacific shipping

Ocean carriers are struggling to meet the space allotments promised in their 2024–25 service contracts with Non-Vessel-Operating common carriers (NVOs) and retailers who book directly with liners due to rapidly thinning vessel capacity in the eastbound trans-Pacific route. These cuts come as ocean bookings in the eastbound trans-Pacific trade route are climbing sharply.

US-based importers, who usually ship their merchandise during the traditional August-through-October peak season, are now booking space early, causing a reduction in available capacity. As a result, available capacity is thinning quickly, giving carriers the pricing power to implement peak season surcharges (PSSs) and General Rate Increases (GRIs) bi-monthly, rather than the usual monthly frequency.

The average price of a 40ft cargo-worthy container in the US was $1,322 in June 2024. The prices were highest in Dallas, Texas at $1,520, and lowest in Chicago at $1,190.

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Where does the data for our monthly reports come from?

For our monthly ‘Where are all the containers’ reports, we leverage the data from the transactions taking place on our xChange marketplace + third-party analyses and industry news to bring you:

xChange Insights

Insights gives you real-time market prices in 60 locations. It helps define the best locations and time trading containers, gives you price changes, and analysis of the current trends.

Container Availability

The CAx is a tool for monitoring the import and export moves of full containers. In this report, we show CAx trends for 40 DC (of which 55% are 40 HC; the most popular container for freight use).

Leasing dashboard

Container Leasing Rates

We analyze pick-up charges only for popular stretches that we can account for, like China to the US, Europe to China; and more.

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