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Upturn in China’s container shipping

30 September 2009
China’s container shipping business is starting to recover for the first time since the start of the global financial crisis, according to a report by China Daily. By 11 September, the Chinese Container Freight Index had risen to 941.9 points, an increase of 23 per cent compared with a low point in June.

Ren Minqiang, head of Qingdao Qianwan Container Terminal, was quoted as saying that freight volumes were up nearly 9 per cent in the first two weeks of September, compared with the same period in 2008.

As business improves, shipping lines and ports are raising their prices, particularly as a previous removal of capacity by carriers in the Asia-Europe trade has led to certain capacity shortages. Luo Xiong, an analyst with Merchants Securities, said freight prices have passed the break-even point at shipping lines. By contrast, at the low point of the current slump, some companies were losing up to US$600 per delivered container.

The container throughput of Ningbo port in Zhejiang province reached a new monthly high of 998,600 teu in August, up 0.3 per cent year-on-year. This was the fourth month in a row that the port recorded a month-on-month increase in its container volume.
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