Why Global Car Carrier Shortage

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China’s new energy vehicle exports are increasing, leading to a worldwide shortage of car carriers. Due to the shortage of car carriers, container ships are gradually becoming a “replacement”. The person in charge of the European container ship company recently revealed that since 2023, China, South Korea, and Europe’s automobile manufacturers have begun to try the container ship. Japanese cars exporter have also started to take action.

cargo ship-1

It is reported that the structure of the car-specific transport ship is similar to a self-propelled three-dimensional parking lot, where each car is driven, loaded and unloaded by workers. In the case of large vessels, each ship can transport about 6,000 passenger cars at low cost. In contrast, container ships ship vehicles into containers and then transport them, and it is challenging to carry large quantities of cars at a time.

Rapidly growing transportation needs

Data from the passenger association show that from 2018 to 2022, China’s new energy passenger car exports increased from 147,000 to 1,120,500, more than six times the number. This year, 1-8, China’s new energy passenger car exports have exceeded the million mark, and the annual export volume will continue to improve.

Container shipping has become a “replacement” program for another reason: the price is lower.

British research company released data showing that the automobile special transportation ship 1-year charter fee of $ 110,000 per day and signing a long-term contract for more than 3 years, shipowners can reduce the price by 20%, which makes some want to sign a short-term contract of the automobile manufacturers are more inclined to use the container ship.



It is worth mentioning that, at present, there are still container ships mixed with daily necessities and groceries, etc. There are still problems to be solved in many aspects, such as maintaining the quality of transportation to prevent damage to the vehicle, loading and unloading personnel in and out of the car in containers, unloading and inland transportation connections, and so on.

Liu Liying, Deputy General Manager of SERES Group’s Overseas Business Department, once said that logistics costs directly affect the price competitiveness of the end market.

Liu Liying said that in China’s auto exports in international logistics, there are three problems: First, mixed shipment still exists in the booking of the warehouse is complex, and the problem of high costs. Second, in October last year, the country formally liberalized the transportation of new energy vehicles by rail. However, Customs still treats the new energy vehicles as hazardous chemicals, and dangerous warehouse costs are very high. Third, the importing country’s distribution routes are more complex, and at the same time, the price of the distribution of the outside world is also relatively high.

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