Through the analysis of satellite big data, Guojin securities also shows that after the container ships set out from China and arrive at their destinations, there are probably different degrees of detention and other cargo phenomena.
In view of this phenomenon, the Securities Times reporter visited the port container terminal and interviewed downstream foreign trade enterprises, shipping companies, container leasing companies, upstream container making enterprises and industry experts, trying to understand the current situation and reasons of container shortage.
Port freight business rebounds
In order to further understand the supply and demand and turnover of containers, the reporter of securities times came to Yantian port of Shenzhen, an international container shipping hub in South China. In the afternoon of weekday, Yantian international container terminal is busy and orderly, and heavy trucks enter and leave slowly. Trucks waiting for containers are parked on the side of the overpass leading to the port.
The reporter asked several truck drivers at random. They all said that work has become less and less since this year. In the past, it was fixed to pull a box for two days. After the epidemic situation, it may not be necessary to wait for notice. Lao Li, a driver of 15 years, told reporters. Go home and sleep when youre not alive. Theres a lot of rest time this year.
It is understood that Yantian port is one of the largest single container terminals in the world, mainly serving the routes exported to Europe and the United States. Nearly 90% of the export trade in Shenzhen area reaches Europe and the United States through Yantian port.
The reporter of Securities Times learned from the sources of Yantian port group that the relative shortage of containers does exist. In view of this situation, the port and shipping side increased orders while stepping up scheduling.
It is understood that under the background of the domestic epidemic situation being effectively controlled, the domestic foreign trade consolidation demand will be fully released in the second half of the year. According to the data, the throughput of Yantian port in Shenzhen exceeded 1.46 million TEUs in September, setting a new record for the throughput of a single terminal in the world set by itself in August.
However, shortage of containers is not a common problem for all domestic ports. According to the reporter from Dalian port, the port is not short of containers this year. Industry insiders pointed out that this is related to the characteristics of port transport goods. The lack of containers in this ship mainly refers to e-commerce and anti epidemic materials that need to be loaded and unloaded by containers, while Dalian Port mainly transports bulk commodities.
Its hard to get a box of downstream businesses
For container supply and transport capacity, the most sensitive is downstream foreign trade. I have been engaged in foreign trade for more than ten years, which is really rare. Mr. Luo, a bicycle exporter, told the securities times. Mr. Luo, who has experienced two price explosion this year, said that the lack of containers has been existing since June this year. According to the current situation and the analysis of the industry, the phenomenon will be alleviated after the first quarter of next year.
On November 12, Frank Cheng, director of foreign trade of Dongguan Dingzhi Furniture Co., Ltd., told reporters that containers were in short supply and needed to be reserved 20 days in advance. The companys furniture is mainly exported to Europe and America, the Middle East, Australia and other regions. Cabinets for all lines are in short supply and need to be reserved in advance. At the end of November, when the reporter contacted Frank Cheng again, he said that the required containers had to be reserved one month in advance, and the demand was large. Moreover, not only did the time for advance booking extend, but also the price of containers kept rising.
Before going to the UK, the price was 2100 US dollars, but now its more than 5000, which is more than doubled. Foreign trade enterprises are going to lose money, and customers are not willing to bear it. Frank Cheng told reporters that container prices began to rise in September this year, with a price of only a few days. The exchange rate has been changing all the time, and the cost has been soaring. The export peak season at the end of the year is expected to be more scarce.
Imbalance between supply and demand
Under the contradiction between supply and demand is the soaring price. Chinas export container price index released by Shanghai air exchange soared from below 850 points in May to 1107.28 points on November 13, setting a new high in recent years.
The whole world will celebrate the same day. The designated freight forwarder will be lotterized for three weeks, and a 40HQ will be raised. On the evening of November 30, an employee of an export enterprise sent this circle of friends. 40HQ is a 40 foot high container with an internal dimension of 12.032 meters in length, 2.352 meters in width and 2.69 meters in height, which can carry about 26 tons of cargo. This is the most scarce container model on the market at present, and the price has skyrocketed.
During the interview, many foreign traders said that the container price had more than doubled compared with the same period last year. At present, the market basically reflects the shortage of containers. The price of going to a certain port in November last year was 23000 yuan, and that in November this year was 46000 yuan to 52000 yuan. Ms. Feng, business director of Dongguan Jiamu packaging materials Co., Ltd., told reporters, we mainly export plastic packaging, mainly to Europe and the United States. This years orders are generally better than last year. Now we usually book boxes half a month to a month in advance, and there are still some in advance.
Meng Jun, customer service director of Dongguan Caobang Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd., told reporters that the scheduled date depends on the length of the route. For ocean routes such as Europe and the United States, they generally need to book half a month to a month in advance; offshore routes such as Southeast Asia only need to be one week in advance. The recent price increase of ocean routes is much higher than that of ocean routes.
In view of the situation that some exporters have reported that they need to draw numbers, Meng Jun explained to the securities times that at present, there is no need for lottery numbers in shipping, and some new railway transportation routes do need lottery numbers, such as going to inland countries such as Russia. Because the route is newly opened and the transportation capacity is relatively tight, it is necessary to draw the number.
According to the national port cargo and container throughput data released by the Ministry of transport, container demand continues to grow, and the export container freight index also rises.
According to the reporters understanding, at present, the price of 40 foot containers from Guangzhou to New York has risen to US $5000, which is three times higher than that before the epidemic; the price of special containers is even more crazy, some freight forwarders have been raised by the shipping company by US $4000 in a short week, and some special containers in northern ports have even increased to 10000 US dollars, while the price of special containers before the epidemic is only about 1000 US dollars.
To go out to sea
Containers are in short supply, but the delivery time cannot be delayed. To this end, foreign trade enterprises racked their brains to ship.
Zhang Jilin, the person in charge of Ruihe technology e-commerce, told reporters that the company has noticed the shortage of containers, and the company has formulated internal emergency plans, such as making export plans as soon as possible and booking boxes in advance. Increase the logistics budget, for emergency goods can not be ordered to the cabinet, will choose the more expensive air transport to ensure timely delivery.
Ms. Ma, a foreign trade merchant who makes mobile phone peripheral products in Shenzhen, told reporters that the reason for the overseas epidemic situation is that the orders of non epidemic related products produced by foreign companies have decreased, and the customs declaration time has been prolonged. In particular, due to the closure of overseas cities, the goods can not be put into the cabinet in time after they arrive at overseas ports, and the delivery cycle is correspondingly prolonged, which puts pressure on the companys operation. In this regard, the company urgently applied for the production qualification of medical protective articles in March, producing disposable gloves for medical protection and forehead temperature gun. Overseas has given a green light to the consolidation and customs clearance of this part of protective products, thus hedging the loss of the original business. Said Miss Ma.
This has solved many problems of small and medium-sized enterprises. However, although Alibaba international station has put forward a safeguard scheme, exporters still need to book in advance. Ms. Feng of Jiamu packaging also told reporters that after docking one partner Cao Bang logistics on Alibaba international station, the export of goods was relatively smooth.
Zhangjiagang Cohen Machinery Co., Ltd. is a manufacturer of waste plastic recycling machinery, plastic extruder and a series of auxiliary machinery enterprises, the products are mainly exported to many countries and regions around the world. The owner of the company, Ms. Xie, told reporters that the companys export goods use 40HQ containers, and the docking logistics company is Wenjian, a partner of Alibaba international station, and should book containers at least half a month in advance.
Shipping companies are full of money
The continuous sharp rise of container price and freight rate has attracted the attention of market management departments. For example, the Ministry of Commerce has proposed measures to deal with the poor turnover of containers.
According to Caixin, Chinas Ministry of transport and the federal maritime administration of the United States announced in September to strengthen the control of container shipping rates. If shipping companies or alliances are found to have violated the competition standards, they will immediately intervene. Under the pressure of the Chinese and American governments, major shipping companies have begun to resume suspended flights and ships.
According to alphaliner survey data, 98.4% of the worlds transport capacity has been put into operation. However, due to the superposition of container equipment shortage, the actual transport capacity of Far East exports is very tight. The delay of global supply chain congestion, the extreme imbalance of cargo flow, and the self-discipline of shipping companies lead to the serious decoupling of the overall actual operation efficiency, customer service experience and high freight rates.
As for the shortage of containers, a spokesman for Maersk Group, the worlds largest shipping company, told reporters: we have been concerned that the market is facing the problem of shortage of containers, especially in the global trunk routes with strong market performance, the supply of 40 foot high containers is relatively tight. As novel coronavirus pneumonia causes demand fluctuations, bottlenecks in global supply chains exacerbate this trend.
As a response, the spokesman said the company communicated with customers and partners through various measures to seek solutions to speed up the empty container transportation and minimize the impact on customers, and increase the supply of 40 foot high cabinets on the basis of existing container sources.
According to Chinas novel coronavirus pneumonia recommendations, as many countries in the world are experiencing a two outbreak of the new crown pneumonia outbreak and a national blockade, the shortage of empty containers is expected to continue. Due to this, the export booking of Chinese ports has to be cancelled or delayed. To minimize the impact, Maersk recommends that customers switch to other box types instead of 40 foot cabinets.
Behind the vigorous trade demand, the industrial chain began to take strange measures to deal with it. According to the reporters understanding, due to the high freight rate of container ships and the lack of online container ships in the charter market, some liner companies have even used multi-purpose vessels to replace container ships to transport goods.
And behind the lack of containers, shipping companies make pot full bowl full. Sea intelligence, a shipping consultancy, predicts that the worlds top container shipping companies are expected to achieve billions of dollars in operating profits by 2020, and will reach the highest level in eight years.
COSCO is the third largest container shipping company in the world. According to Drurys 2020 report, COSCOs container terminal ranked first in the world in 2019 in terms of total throughput. The company operates 278 international routes (including international branch lines), 56 China coastal routes and 88 Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River branch lines.
In this round of container price rise tide, COSCO haicontrol also gets a piece of the cake. According to its third quarterly report, the companys revenue per container of international routes increased from $888 / TEU in the same period last year to $952 / TEU this year. In the first three quarters, COSCOs operating revenue only increased by 5.46%, but its net profit increased by 80% to 3.86 billion yuan, far exceeding the year-on-year growth of operating income. Since the second half of the year, the companys stock price has increased by about 1.8 times.
Overseas shipping companies have also made good profits. Novel coronavirus pneumonia also has a prominent performance in the worlds top five shipping companies. The trade volume of all the major trade types in the first three quarters of this year was 3.5% lower than that of the new Western Crown, but the total net income decreased, but the net profit after tax was 695 million euros, 1 times higher than the same period in the same period.
Limited capacity of container expansion
Asia holds more than 90% of the worlds container manufacturing capacity, and the growth rate of container related enterprises has exceeded that of previous years.
According to Tianyan survey data, in recent years, the annual registration of domestic container related enterprises has been showing a steady growth trend. In the past five years, the annual registration growth rate has been maintained at about 20% (all enterprises). In 2019, China will add 34000 container related enterprises throughout the year. As of November 10, 2020, 37000 container related enterprises have been added in China this year, with a year-on-year increase of 30%. The number of enterprises in Shandong, Guangdong and Jiangsu is the largest.
Under normal circumstances, it takes 2-3 months for container manufacturing from placing an order to delivery, and now it takes 3-4 months for the peak period. Now the volume and price are rising, and the company delivers goods in batches according to the order sequence. However, the expansion of production will be restricted by labor law, and the transfer of production capacity to Southeast Asia is not realistic.
It is understood that container factories need to be laid out along the coastline. At present, the port and terminal conditions in Southeast Asia and other countries are not as good as those in China. In addition, the raw materials for container production, including steel, wood flooring, paint and other industrial chains, are relatively complete in China. Moreover, the working efficiency of Chinese workers is relatively high. Moreover, China itself is still a big import and export country.
Wang Xinjiu said that the type of downstream customers of the company has changed greatly. Currently, the company mainly rents containers. They place orders earlier, but the upstream price still rises sharply, from last years low of $1000 / TEU to $2500 / TEU.
From the performance point of view, CIMC has experienced a wave of Jedi anti surpassing this year. According to the communication between executives and investors, the companys cumulative dry cargo container sales in the first three quarters decreased by 17.09% year-on-year. However, with the gross profit rate increasing to 14%, the container business turned into a loss in the first half of the year. According to the semi annual report of CIMC, the accumulated sales volume of general dry cargo containers decreased by nearly 40% year on year, and the operating income of container business decreased by 25.45%. However, the net profit increased by 535.78% year on year, totaling 239 million yuan, while the net profit of the same period last year was less than 40 million yuan. Since the end of May, CIMCs share price has risen by more than 140%.
The downstream of the container manufacturer is the shipping company. After purchasing the container, the shipping company obtains the income by renting the container and shipping space.
Bohai leasings seaco is the worlds second largest container leasing company. According to the current market situation, container transportation demand is expected to remain strong until the Lunar New Year and the second quarter of 2021. In the middle of 2021, the supply and demand trend is uncertain.
(Sun Xianchao, a reporter from the securities times, also contributed to this paper.)