Just 8 feet wide, 8 feet and 6 inches high and 20 feet long, a corrugated steel box now costs as much as 10,000 dollars to put on a ship and send it from Shenzhen to New York. The prices of the boxes themselves have been jumping, driven by the imbalance between supply and demand created by COVID-19.
Due to the pandemic, most container producers continue to be in a desperate situation. However, China could be the first country to experience a recovery. Hope for traders has come from the high production efficiency and low costs in China, now producing 96 percent of new containers worldwide.
As container prices rise, so do the costs of moving them. A number of shipping companies announced they are going to start a new round of hikes from the middle of June. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index jumped 44 percent from the previous week to another historic high, a three-fold increase from the lowest point last year.