Container Availability Index

Monitor the availability of containers for better container repositioning and trading decisions.

CAx | Year on Year 

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the CAx?

    The CAx (Container Availability Index) is an index (or tool) that allows interested parties to monitor the import and export moves of full containers around major ports. A CAx value of 0.5 means that the same amount of containers leave and enter a port in the same week. CAx values of > 0.5 means that more containers enter and CAx values of < 0.5 means more containers leave a specific port.

  • What data is included/not included in the CAx?
    • The CAx includes:
      • Gate-in and gate-out moves of containers (or import and exports of containers)
      • An estimation of manufactured containers in China
      • 20ft and 40ft containers
    • The CAx does not include:
      • Empty repositioning of containers by carriers
      • Containers sold locally in certain locations
      • Exact number of manufactured containers
  • Which equipment types are included in the CAx?

    This section is based on a a big sample of our tracking data. It should however be considered as a rough segmentation as the percentages might slightly changed for each update.

    • 20ft containers:
      • 98% are 20DC
      • 2% are a mix of different other equipment types (20HC, 20OT, 20RF..)
    • 40ft containers:
      • 55% are 40HC
      • 33% are 40DC
      • 7% are 40HC RF (forty high cube reefer containers)
      • 5% are a mix of different other equipment types (40RF, 40DC, 40FR..)
  • How to interpret the CAx major cases?

    This section provides an overview of some interpretations that one can derive from the CAx.

    • A CAx between 0 and 0.45:
      • More demand for export containers than full imports
      • Likely resulting in increased container rental fees
      • Likely delays cargo acceptance
      • Could be the result of an increase in cargo production output if the CAx is considerably lower than the long-term average
      • If for a longer time below 0.45
        • The port is likely not importing enough containers to handle the full exports
        • Likely a shortage of containers
        • Likely receiving empty imports to ease the shortage
      • A CAx between 0.55 and 1:
        • Less demand for export containers than full imports
        • Likely resulting in decreased container rental fees
        • Could be the result of a decrease in cargo production output if the CAx is considerably higher than the long-term average
        • If for a longer time above 0.55
          • If it happens during/after shortage:
            • This is likely a sign that the shortage is easing in this port
          • If there is no apparent shortage
            • The amount of full exports is likely not sufficient to decrease the surplus
            • The surplus could be a result of the empty containers that were moved out of this port in previous weeks and now are returning as full imports
          • A CAx between 0.45 and 0.55:
            • Balanced demand for export containers and full imports
            • If for a longer time between 0.45 and 0.55:
              • Decrease in empty exports and imports in this port
              • Stable cargo production output
  • Why does the CAx show values higher than 0.5 while the concerned port is known for currently experiencing a shortage?

    The CAx is an indication of how many full containers were imported vs. exported. This value should therefore serve as a tool to comprehend the imbalance of container moves in a certain location in a specific week. Although the CAx is showing high values, this does not mean all those containers are available. Moreover, the high number of imports could be the result of the shipping companies trying to ease the shortage by exporting more containers to that specific port. All in all, the CAx is solely an indication of entering vs. leaving containers, what this implies is up to interpretation and depends on each different port.

Click here for CAx release notes and feel free to reach out to Florian anytime.

Learn more about xChange

Join 1500+ logistics companies and learn how xChange helps you lease, buy and sell containers in a 15-min phone call with our team.

First Name:
Last Name:
Email Address:
Please send me industry insights as well as information about your products, services and events by email. You can opt out at any time.
By submitting this form, you agree that xChange will store and process your personal data in accordance with our privacy policy


The CAx is provided for informational purposes only.

The data from which the CAx is derived is believed to be accurate and reliable. however, due to the possibility of human and mechanical error or other factors, xChange is not responsible for any errors or omissions.

The CAx may sometimes include erroneous data, calculation errors and may not be strictly representative of the container availability for any location.

No warranty, expressed or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the CAx. the information is provided on an “as is” basis.

All warranties of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, timeliness, freedom from contamination by computer viruses and non-infringement of proprietary rights are disclaimed.

Changes may be periodically made to the information herein; these changes may or may not be incorporated in any new version of the publication.

xChange shall not be liable in any way (whether for negligence, breach of contract, tort, or otherwise) to a user or to any other individual or entity for any unavailability, delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions in the CAx or for any actions taken in reliance thereon or for any damages, whether in tort, contract or otherwise (unless due to willful tortious misconduct or gross negligence) arising therefrom, or occasioned thereby or by reason of nonperformance, omission, interruption, or termination, of the content or the website or service by which they are provided for any cause whatsoever.

Under no circumstances will xChange or any information provider be liable for any indirect, punitive, special, consequential or incidental damages.