Solar Magazine – Transport container solar panels in 1 week’s time 764 dollars cheaper

The costs on the Shanghai-Rotterdam route have already fallen by more than 7,382 US dollars this year. In fact, costs fell below the November-December 2020 level for the first time last week, when container rates rose by thousands of dollars in a few months due to the corona crisis.

Biggest drop
Prices fell by a few percent on almost all routes from Shanghai to Europe and America last week. Expressed in percentage, the Shanghai-Los Angeles route also tops the list this week with a drop of 11 percent; which means a price drop of $530. On that route, the fare is now $4,252; 66 percent lower than a year ago. Only on the New York-Rotterdam route was a price increase visible last week, namely 3 dollars.

The World Container Index, which shows the price for 8 major shipping routes to and from the United States, Europe and Asia, has fallen by 8.1 percent. That is the largest drop of this calendar year, both in percent and in dollars, namely $437. The index has now fallen 29 weeks in a row. The index is at a level of $4,941.91 for a 40-foot container. Since January this year, the WCI has fallen nearly $5,000 and is now 52 percent below the peak of $10,377 reached in September 2021, while still standing 34 percent above the 5-year average of $ 3,692. Drewry analysts expect prices to continue to fall on the majority of WCI routes in the coming weeks.

Rotterdam
The graph below shows the price development of the transport of a 40-foot container from Shanghai to Rotterdam.

Despite the fact that prices have fallen sharply in recent months, transport costs are still a factor of 3 to 4 higher than before the outbreak of the corona crisis. At the beginning of 2020, the price for the transport of a 40-foot container from China to the Netherlands still fluctuated between 1,500 and 2,000 dollars. This week the share price fell to $764, the largest drop since the end of March when costs fell by $1,029 in 1 week.

Chinese manufacturers transport about 800 to 900 solar panels per 40-foot container. Large format solar panels with higher powers even contain only about 600 to 700 solar panels in a container. As a result, the transport costs for a solar panel have in some cases still increased by 5 to 10 dollars per solar panel since February 2020.

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