The turning point expected for the container prices in 2022 according to the CAx value

As we step into the first quarter of 2022, it’s important to examine the international container shipping trends from last year to get a clear outline of the port situations around the world, and prepare yourself better for the coming period. Check out the detailed report based on the CAx value  compiled by our media partner Container xChange.

The last year was a difficult one for the container shipping industry when ports all around the world were having to deal with several hindrances such as port congestion, delays, and equipment shortages.  But it seems that the situation is now reversing. To quote Johannes Schlingmeier, Container xChange Co-founder, “Over the last two quarters, the industry has faced skyrocketing container prices. However, these increases first leveled off and have now started gradually decreasing. It seems, what we’re seeing now, is a turning point.”

Container prices at the major international ports

container shipping trends
40 HC Average Container Prices


The major ports in the US, the UK, China, and Germany recorded a fall in container prices between August to November. Moreover, in the last 4 months, the container prices at the ports in the United States have fallen by almost 15%. At the Ningbo Port, a 40 HC container cost $959 less in November compared to the price in September. The sharpest fall in container prices was seen at the Port of Qingdao in the months of September to November. At Qingdao the average cost of 40 HC containers came down by 23% amounting to around $1756.

A look at the Container Availability Index at the major ports

Before getting into details about the container shipping trends, we need to give you a brief idea of Container Availability Index.

container shipping industry
Average one-way leasing pickup rates

Defining Container Availability Index (CAx)

The Container Availability Index (CAx) monitors and forecasts global container equipment supply by tracking millions of monthly container moves.  An index reading of below 0.5 means more containers leave a port compared to the number that enter. Container availability index above 0.5 means more containers are entering the port.

Inbound containers are piling up across several ports worldwide

Out of the 83 ports in different parts of the world (part of this research), only 9 ports have CAx values less than 0.50. Seventy four ports have CAx values greater than 0.50. Compared to 2020, 61 ports had CAx values less than 0.50. Before the pandemic, 34 ports had CAx values less than 0.50. This clearly explains the present disrupted condition of the supply chain. Usually, during the year end, we see more containers in the US, North America, and the UK and fewer containers at the Asian ports. However, only a few ports in China have low CAx values. The rest of the ports have much higher CAx values. This indicates containers all over the ports are either stuck or delayed.


container shipping prices
Container shipping prices

The situation in the ports in China

Leasing rates fall in China

The average one-way pickup rates Ex china to UK and Germany since September fell from September till November. Moreover, these rates are expected to drop further. Average one-way pickup charges for the China -US stretch were reduced by 25% from August to September but increased from October to November.

Container prices are lowering in China

Fourteen ports in China registered decline in average prices for 40HC containers. The same trend is noticeable for 20DC containers. Average container prices (for 20DC, 40DC, and 40HC, cargo worthy) was highest in September and fell thereafter till the last week of November 2021. In Shanghai, the average prices for 40ft HC containers fell by 21% from the US $6686 in September to US $5746 as of 1st December. In Tianjin, this drop was 16%, in Yantian 12%, in Shenzhen close to 7%, in Qingdao 23%, and 11% in Dalian. Shanghai ranked third for average prices of 40HC at $5746 as of December 1st 2021 after Livorno at $6700 and Singapore at $5775. At Shenzhen, prices reduced from $7005 in September to $6573 in November.

Shanghai Port

Shanghai Port registered a massive fall in CAx values in 2020 reaching a rock bottom of 0.05. However, last year the CAx values at this port fell to 0.50. This is the ideal balance indicating the same number of containers coming and leaving the port.

Yantian Port

The CAx value of 0.27 at the Yantian port demonstrates a high number of outbound containers. However, it is not at the same level as in 2020 and 2019. In the month of November, these values were at an average of 0.05 in 2020, and 0.16 in 2019.

Tianjin Port

The CAx values at the Tianjin Port in the month of November were much higher than Ningbo and Qingdao. At week 48 of 2021, the CAx values were at 0.71, while in 2020 it was 0.16 and in 2019 it was 0.39. This suggests that there were more inbound containers at the port.

Dalian Port

Dalian port witnessed average CAx values of 0.49 in November. This figure is four times higher compared to that of 2020. However, before the pandemic, the CAx value at this port was 0.28.

A look at the port situation in India

Average container prices have somewhat stabilized in India.

Chennai Port

Chennai Port witnessed a 17% jump in average prices for 20 DC. Here, the average cost for a 40ft HC container dropped from $5550 in August to $5323 on the 1st of December. At Chennai port, the CAx values at week 48 were twice higher than that of 2020. The pre-pandemic trend at this port was decreasing CAx values, because of higher exports. However, 2021 demonstrated an opposite trend of increasing values till the end of the year.

Nhava Sheva Port

At the Port of Nhava Sheva, the Container Availability Index (CAx) values were stable at 0.78 since the end of October. While in 2019 and 2020, the values were lower showing a general declining trend till the end of the year. This suggests that more outbound containers were recorded at this port during this time of the year. In contrast, in 2021 the trend started to change. It clearly shows that exports struggled in 2021, containers were stuck at port, and inbound containers were higher. Here, the prices for 40 ft HC containers went down from $5044 in October to $4875 on the 1st of December. Before the pandemic, this price was approximately $1000 for 20DC and $2000 for 40DC, respectively.

Mundra Port

At the Mundra Port, the CAx values were five times higher compared to the values in the 48th week of 2020. Moreover, it was three times higher than the correlating week in 2019 (pre-pandemic). This trend was consistent throughout the year. This once again highlights the problem of inbound containers being stuck at the port with a possible impact on the outbound containers.

Port situation in the United States

Los Angeles

In 2021, the CAx values at this port fell from 0.85 in week 45 to 0.34 in week 48 (first week of November to last week of November).
In 2020, the CAx values dropped by 0.01 value, from 0.88 to 0.87 during the same time frame.

Long Beach Port

Here the CAx values ranged between 0.86 to 0.89  since the 31st week of 2021. In the 48th week, this value was at 0.86 and it closed the year
at similar values. Although there was a dip in these values in 2020, the forecast is not showing signs of revival this year due to the current situation of the gridlock.

Port of Savannah

The Port of Savannah witnessed consistently higher CAx values in 2021 compared to previous years. The CAx values ranged between 0.90 and 0.96. This indicates massive congestion and more loads of inbound containers.

Port of Houston

The CAx value at this port in 2020 was half of what it was in 2021. In the 48th week of 2021, the CAx at the port was 0.89. Last year, it was 0.48 and before the pandemic, it was 0.59. Undoubtedly, the port underwent an increased burden of inbound containers throughout 2021 as compared to 2020 and 2019.

Situation at the ports in Europe

The most important European ports had higher CAx values than the last two years. Moreover, the concentration of CAx values were in the CAx range of 0.63 – 0.89. This indicates more inbound containers consistently than outbound ones. As compared to 2019 and 2020 it is almost more than double the levels at the 17 busiest ports.

Port of Antwerp

Antwerp showed a five times rise in CAx values at week 48 of 2021 compared to the correlating week last year. This shows that a large number of containers were docked.

Port of Hamburg

At the Port of Hamburg, the CAx values were more than three times higher than 2020.

Port of Felixstowe

The average CAx values at the Port of Felixstowe were 0.65 in the past 3 years, but at the 48th week of 2021, the values were at 0.89.

Port of Valencia

CAx values at the port of Valencia were six times that of 2020.

Port of Sines

In 2020 the CAx value at the Port of Sines was 0.09.  However, last year it increased to 0.85.

Port of Barcelona

The Port of Barcelona also registered twice the CAx values than 2020.

Summing it up

As Christian Roeloffs the Co-founder and CEO of Container xChange aptly points out, 2022 is going to be yet another year of unpredictability. We’ve also started to see container prices and leasing rates going down. Once, prices slide significantly, they risk crashing. If we look at the current demand, we see that the demand for containers hasn’t increased significantly. The current spike in rates is caused by temporary supply crunch. But with disruptions such as labor union conflicts at US ports easing up, we’ll also see the capacity challenge improving.


Conqueror offers a discount for its members to join the Digital Container Summit hosted by Container xChange

Network with your fellow members at the Digital Container Summit on September 3, 2020. As a member of Conqueror you will receive preferred access to networking and 25% off the All Access Ticket price.

best freight forwarder network
best freight forwarder network

Hosted by Container xChange, the DCS2020 features face-to-face virtual networking, live keynotes and engaging Q&A sessions.Pre-organize your schedule for event day using their matchmaking tool and meeting scheduler. The AI application helps you find the best networking partners based on mutual business interests and network membership tags.

After accepting your meeting requests, you’ll get a clear overview of your schedule and enjoy a seamless networking experience on event day.

Wherever you are in the world, network with all of your peers while enjoying first-class content from renowned industry thought-leaders.

Don’t miss the only industrywide networking opportunity in 2020, and book your ticket now!


Make the most of the new opportunities emerging in a changing landscape

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light many deficiencies in all societies world-wide, but it has also shown the importance of many sectors in the world. Logistics has emerged as one of the most important business to overcome the pandemic, either by the supply of medical equipment, basic goods or even all the online purchases during the lockdown.

Although the pandemic has shown what an important component logistics is for society, it has also exposed its weaknesses’ and the need for profound changes in the industry. Before the pandemic, the economic incentives stemming from globalization, were already pushing logistics to a digitalized form, but social distancing or online working are making such a transformation even more necessary.

From Conqueror we support each of our members in this digital process, by helping their company to move all products and services into the digital environment. We are working to implement different online features which will help your company to be on the same page with global tendencies. Check four of the tools we offer to help you gain your place in the e-commerce.

1. FreightViewer: our exclusive transport management software will enable you to create a friendly-user website for your clients, enabling them to check on your services any time, any day.

2. Online company brochure: create an online brochure to promote your business from anywhere in the world.

3. Strong online presence: we offer you a complete digital coverage through an online news section, blog and social media promotion.

digital transformation
digital transformation

4. Virtual event: due to the current situation we will not be able to meet face to face, but we will do online. Don’t miss the opportunity to make the most of our next Virtual Meeting.

Digitization is so important in the global context, among other reasons, since it makes information and communication available anywhere, anytime and for any user device. Therefore, isn’t this exactly what we need in the near future taking into account that this situation will remain for a considerable time? Think about it!


Conqueror takes a major step towards the digitization of the freight forwarding sector by creating FreightViewer

Madrid, Spain October 2019: After two years of hard work and substantial private investments, Conqueror with agents in 265 cities and 142 countries is all set to start working with its member-exclusive Transport Management Software, FreightViewer. This software will provide the members of Conqueror the technological capability to compare competitive online freight rates, share shipping documents,and quote instantly in real-time all in one neatly organized platform.

Freight forwarding sector is aware about the need of digitization in the industry. The best example to show this fact, is the great investment of technological companies such as Flexport, Freightos or other pioneer freight forwarding multinationals, e.g. Twill and KN Freightnet, have done during the last few years. But even, after all these investments and efforts, a considerable percentage of freight forwarders continue to miss out on the digitalization race in the freight industry.

Even though it is not an easy task to become digitalize within this industry, highly demanding and inpatient customers, multinationals and globalization, are some of the factors which are forcing an important transformation in logistics sector. Inside this environment, Conqueror has developed FreightViewer, revolutionizing the old ways of working. As a member-exclusive and free Transport Management Software, FreightViewer allows members of the network to automatize the uploading of their contract rates (Air, FCL, LCL and Cargo Insurance) through the online platform and share them with agents or customers instantly. Moreover, FreightViewer on the dashboard allows customers and agents to manage bookings for any carrier online, collaborate and share the shipping documents, and offer real-time status updates for shipments.

As stated by Antonio Torres, the CEO and President of Conqueror, “The new tool is going to help freight forwarders within our network cope with the problem of ever-changing freight rates due to complex tariffs, various time zones and unresponsive overseas agents, which eventually leads to a delay in quoting a door-to-door service.”

FreightViewer will ensure that all members will become truly digital freight forwarders. Mr. Torres further added that “Digitization of the freight forwarding sector is starting but very slowly. For example, only three of the top twenty global freight forwarders can provide an instant quotes online. We feel very proud to be part of the digitization process in our industry. Conqueror is the first international freight forwarding network to launch instant quoting ability for its members. We have come up with FreightViewer after the launch of the operating system by the industry leader Flexport, who has received one billion $ investment, has eleven offices in four countries and is currently receiving all the attention world-wide from media related to the industry as it is growing incredibly. We haven’t a received a billion-dollar investment, but we have developed a state-of-art software and we have a huge worldwide infrastructure formed by our members. This makes us one of the biggest players running in the digital race of the logistics sector. Our main aim is to contribute towards actualizing the process of digitization in this sector and thereby create value for the shippers.”

FreightViewer will definitely alter the way independent freight forwarders conduct their businesses. It will not just reduce the quotation processing time from a number of days to a couple of seconds, but also help to enhance the productivity, client engagement, and profitability of the member companies.

Lufthansa Cargo is closely cooperating with Brussels Airlines Cargo to complement their individual businesses

The mutual cooperation between the 2 companies would allow the Brussels Airlines Cargo customers to easily access the international route network of Lufthansa Cargo

Lufthansa Cargo has taken over the task of marketing of the cargo facilities of Brussels Airlines and customers are already able to book a shipment with a departure from 1st September onward. The collaboration is expected to reap a host of benefits foremost among which is the easy access of clients to more than 300 cities in over 100 countries which form a part of Lufthansa Cargo’s international route network.

As stated by Dorothea von Boxberg, “Thanks to the close cooperation between Brussels Airlines and Lufthansa Cargo, our customers benefit from numerous new connections and destinations. We are very pleased that our worldwide network is thus becoming even more comprehensive and stronger,”

air freight and logistics services
air freight and logistics services

Customers of Lufthansa will now enjoy route networks in 15 new territories in various parts of Africa.

According to Reinout Puissant, Global Platform Manager of Brussels Airlines Cargo, “Our close cooperation with Lufthansa Cargo results in a real win-win situation for both companies and our customers. As Africa specialist, we add new destinations to the portfolio of Lufthansa Cargo and from a Brussels Airlines perspective, we can now make even better use of our freight capacity”.