Chinese auto exports switch to container shipping

Insufficient pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) space and lower rates for container transportation are driving some Chinese car-makers to use containers to export their automobiles, The Loadstar reports.

The Loadstar cites data from VesselsValue, according to which the cost of shipping a car on a specialized PCTC from Shanghai to northern Europe in January this year exceeded the average cost of transportation in the fourth quarter of last year by 17%. And this rate is about 4 times higher than the cost of shipping a container in the spot market.

The advantage of containers for auto logistics is the possibility of loading onto the railway without transload. A specifically designed container to move vehicles has slots for three or four vehicles, depending on their sizes.

On February 1, the logistics operator of Chang’an Minsheng, the transport branch of state-owned Chang’an Automobile, signed a five-year contract with HiSeas Autoship, a subsidiary of the Cosco Group, for multimodal logistics solutions for Chang’an’s car shipments.

Since last October, HiSeas has signed similar contracts with three other Chinese car-makers: China FAW Group, Dongfeng Liuzhou Motor and SAIC Motor.