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India remains a hotbed for changing maritime dynamics amidst global supply chain disruptions : Container xChange

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MUMBAI : While the global average container prices have increased by up to 15% in the month of May, the average container prices in some of the major Indian ports have declined, similar to the trend observed in China and many more countries worldwide. There has been a continued month-on-month decline in the prices of 40 ft HC containers in Chennai from $4044 in April to $4015 in May while the prices in the ports of Nava Sheva and Mundra have slightly increased. The insights are a part of the monthly container logistics report titled ‘Where are all the containers’ published by Container xChange, a technology infrastructure provider for container logistics players.

“We expect a surge of containers onto the transpacific, leading to higher utilization of vessels on this route. We could see a surge in spot rates especially with the upcoming peak season (October – December),” said Christian Roeloffs, Co Founder and CEO, Container xChange.

Container trading Insights

For 20DC, the prices rose by a slight margin of $12 in the port of Nava Sheva though they dropped in the ports of Mundra and Chennai.

In the coming weeks, the prices for 20DCs in the major Indian ports are expected to stay between $2100 to $2600 approximately. For 40HCs, in the near future, the prices are expected to be between $3600 to $4400, approximately.

According to Container xChange’s trading insights, as of May 25, for 40HCs, locations in China and India like Chennai ($4,897), Guangzhou ($4,711), Nhava Sheva ($3,516), Mundra ($3,430), and Ningbo ($3,427) are the costliest. The trend remains like how it was at the beginning of June. Amongst the Indian ports, Mundra has the costliest 20DCs and 40HCs cargo-worthy containers. Overall, for 20DCs, Mundra ($2,489) ranks #1 being the costliest port in the world followed by Chennai ($2,435) and Milano ($2,348).

The India Advantage

From a fragmented market, Indian shipping industry is moving encouragingly to a truly global, integrated market for containers. Amidst the economic and political tensions in Sri Lanka, the Indian subcontinent’s dependence on the port of Colombo is gradually becoming known.

“The stark changes in the maritime dynamics can be related to the country’s efforts to get itself an east coast transshipment terminal. Due to the Colombo crisis, more and more transshipment containers have been directed to the east coast ports in India,” said Christian Roeloffs, Founder and CEO, Container xChange.

Another key finding is the rise in Container Availability Index (CAx) values from week 21 (last week of May). The western port of Nhava Sheva in Navi Mumbai saw the CAx rise from 0.73 in week 21 to 0.76 in week 22. In the coming weeks, the CAx is expected to flit between these two numbers. CAx values of > 0.5 means that more shipping containers are entering the Indian ports and there is less demand for export boxes.

However, in the eastern coast of India, Chennai port saw a slight dip in CAx in week 22 from 0.81 in week 21 to 0.79. The score is expected to rise to 0.8 in week 23 and stabilize there for the next few weeks.

Commenting on India’s state of the container logistics market, Christian Roeloffs, Founder and CEO, of Container xChange said, “Ports in South India have gradually started increasing their capacity to handle increased cargo traffic owing to the continued crisis in Sri Lanka. While the cash-strapped country works towards emerging out of the macroeconomic dysfunction, India has an opportunity to get itself some permanent shipping diverts towards its shores.”

“However, there is much work to do for Indian ports to woo the Colombo-bound ships starting from increasing their draft size to match that of Colombo’s to developing strategically placed ports in the shipping route. Starting from scratch might not be the key here, rather expanding the already-present ecosystem will reap more benefits in the long run and get India its place in the global value chain.”

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