China container production raised to 300,000 TEUs a month to ease global shortage

  • China’s commerce ministry said it is finding ways to provide more containers to the market, speed up container turnaround, and help container makers expand productivity
  • Container manufacturers have extended normal working hours to produce 300,000 twenty-foot equivalent units every month
  • The surge in exports has also increased shipping rates, and carriers’ containers are booked up to 15 days before the shipping date

China will increase the supply of containers and tighten monitoring of the shipping market to further stabilize the rising logistics costs in international trade, a government official said.

Gao Feng, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said during a news conference that the ministry will continue to work with related parties to provide more containers to the market, speed up the turnaround of containers, and help container manufacturers to expand productivity.

He acknowledged that some countries have been facing logistics issues due to the unequal distribution of containers, according to a release from the State Council Information Office (SCIO).

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The China Container Industry Association said on November 27 that the surge in China’s exports and the low turnaround rate of containers from abroad have triggered an increased demand for containers of Chinese origin since July.

It has urged manufacturers of shipping containers to ramp up production and ease the shortage of containers.

Chinese container manufacturers have already extended the normal working hours from eight hours to 11 hours, and started making 300,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) every month since September, said SCIO.

The container association said the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on production in countries around the world and the nearing of Christmas, a peak season for export of Chinese products to Europe and the United States, were part of the reasons for the container shortage.

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According to Shanghai International Port Group, the total throughput of containers at Shanghai Port exceeded 40 million TEUs on December 2, marking the third consecutive year the port broke the world record it set in 2017.

Nearly 15.5 million TEU containers were handled at the Tianjin Port from January to October, up 5.6% on a yearly basis, Tianjin Daily said in a recent report.

In southern China, the Guangzhou Port Group said container throughput rose to 15.8 million TEUs during the first nine months of the year, up by 1.5% on a yearly basis.

READ: Asia-Europe freight rates soar amid long peak, container shortage

The surge in exports has also increased shipping rates, and containers in major freight lines have been booked up to 10 to 15 days before the shipping date, according to Guangzhou Daily.

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