Russia-China Trade Imbalance Leads To 150,000 Empty Containers Piling Up In Russia

The vast imbalance of Russia-China trade since the former invaded Ukraine has led to 150,000 empty containers piling up in Moscow.

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Per the new Container xChange report, the rise of Chinese exports into Russia since it started the invasion of Ukraine has led to 150,000 extra shipping containers in Russia that importers are scrambling to return to China. Secondly, the cost of second-hand containers in Russia has gone down tremendously.

Christian Roeloffs, co-founder and CEO of Container xChange, said, “There is significant cargo movement from China into Russia, but very scarce movement back.”

“Containers are piling up in Russia, which means that second-hand prices are very low there – you see a 40ft high-cube container on sale in Moscow for less than $1,000, while in other parts of the world it is almost double, or more.”

Per the latest data, the difference in second-hand container prices appears even stark. It shows that before the invasion of Ukraine, the average cost of a 40ft high-tube container in Russia was $4,175; however, at the beginning of this week, it was recorded to be $580 only.

Presently, there are about 150,000 empty containers in Russia, and those involved in the business are looking for ways to send them back to China. However, they have to pay the pickup charge for sending them back.

Consequently, several Chinese companies are selling them below the normal market price just to get rid of them, as sending them back to China does not make sense.

From Russia to China, the offline market offers 1,500 for new containers, and if the containers are in good condition, they are ready to sell them in the local markets.

The piling up of containers in Russia has led to congestion at its rail terminals, and the situation has been called ‘critical’ by those involved in the transportation business.

References: editioncnn, theloadstar

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