Ministry of Transport takes steps to boost supply of shipping containers

Source: China Daily
Date: 27th September 2021

The ministry has encouraged international container shipping companies to increase freight capacity on export routes from the Chinese mainland by measures such as offering more containers and enhancing transport efficiency, ministry spokesman said.

The major container shipping companies had allocated more space on major routes from China in the first eight months of this year.

For example, the freight capacity on routes to North America reached 9.11 million standard containers (TEU), up 40.2 percent year-on-year and an increase of 24.8 percent compared with the same period in 2019.

The freight capacity on routes to Western and Northern Europe was 5.67 million standard containers, up 23.7 percent year-on-year and 8 percent more than in the first eight months of 2019.

A shortage of empty containers has caused difficulties for shipments. The ministry and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology have urged container manufacturers to increase production and have helped container companies arrange more empty containers on return trips.

China has been making a record 500,000 containers a month, up from 200,000 previously.

Putting more new containers into use has speeded up the turnover of empty containers and relieved pressure from the container shortage.

China has a stockpile of 400,000 containers, and only a few container shipping companies have experienced temporary shortages of empty containers in some ports due to shipment delays, bad weather and epidemic control measures.

Between January and August, China’s imports and exports of goods increased by 23.7 percent year-on-year, with exports up 23.2 percent.

The improvement in China’s foreign trade has boosted the need for containers, while the spread of COVID-19 has caused congestion at some overseas ports.

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