Despite declining exports to its main market, the United States, container activity remains high at China’s major ports. This is because the country has found new buyers elsewhere, such as Europe, India, the Middle East, and South America. Deflation has also become an asset for Chinese exports, as it lowers importers’ prices.

Figures from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce show that the total turnover of containers in Chinese ports from January to July 2023 increased by 4.5% compared to the same period last year. This is despite the fact that exports to the U.S. fell by 1.2% in the same period.

The increase in container activity is being driven by strong export demand from other markets. For example, exports to Europe rose by 10.9% in the first seven months of 2023, while exports to India rose by 12.2%.

The increase in container activity is also being supported by deflation. Deflation occurs when prices are falling, and it can be an asset for exporters because it lowers the prices of their goods. This makes Chinese exports more competitive in global markets.

While container activity is thriving at China’s major ports, shipping rates are experiencing a significant upswing. The Ningbo Container Freight Index, which tracks shipping rates from Ningbo-Zhoushan port, recorded a more than eight percent increase in August compared to July.

The increase in shipping rates is being driven by a number of factors, including the limited availability of shipping containers and the strong demand for goods from China. Shipping companies have also been effective in limiting capacity, which has led to higher rates.

Despite the increase in shipping rates, container activity is likely to remain high at China’s major ports in the coming months. This is because the country is still a major exporter of goods, and it has found new buyers in other markets. Deflation is also likely to support Chinese exports in the coming months.

  • The increase in container activity is also being supported by the government’s policies to promote exports.
  • The Chinese government has been providing subsidies to exporters and reducing tariffs on imported goods.
  • The government has also been investing in infrastructure to improve the efficiency of China’s ports.
  • The increase in container activity is having a positive impact on the Chinese economy. It is creating jobs and boosting economic growth.


Source: Shipping Watch