Fresh data from container tracking service provider Container xChange indicates ports in Shanghai for the week ending Oct. 22 faced a shortage of 40-foot containers not seen since January 2019, reported Caixin.
The service provider’s weekly Container Availability Index for the Shanghai region fell to 0.05 for the week. A number above 0.5 indicates a surplus while a number below 0.5 suggests a deficit of such containers.
The availability of containers in Shanghai peaked in February amid the outbreak of Covid-19 in China, but supply has tightened since March after the country gradually recovered from the pandemic-related lockdowns. A similar pattern has also played out in other coastal cities, including Ningbo and Dalian.
The distribution issue has affected shipments, with shipping companies trying all sorts of solutions to solve the problem, including using refrigerated containers and even transporting empty containers to where they are most needed, a person at logistics group Maersk told Caixin.