Container shipments are beginning to give way to groupage

The global crisis in the field of container shipping leads to the fact that many companies choose other methods of delivery of their goods.

Including groupage transportation.

For container transport, a container is required, which is subsequently loaded onto a ship or rail wagon.

This was one of the most requested methods before the pandemic. Until recently, literally everything was transported in containers: from industrial raw materials to electronics.

However, the pandemic and the pent-up demand it caused, as well as the US trade wars with China, have left their mark .

Containers at the global level have become sorely lacking. In turn, this has led to a significant increase in both the cost of container shipping and the time it takes.

Groupage transportation is gradually becoming a working alternative.

Here, the container is no longer required, but the principle is that any company can add its cargo to the batch, which is already preparing to be shipped to a specific destination by a specific type of transport.

If earlier this method of transportation of goods was used mainly by companies with very small volumes of cargo (5-10 cubic meters), now shippers who need to order the transportation of 10-20 cubic meters of cargo are increasingly inclined towards this type. There is every reason to expect that even larger companies will be able to join them in the future.

What are the advantages of groupage transportation?


One of the main ones is the lower price.

Today it costs roughly $ 7,000 to ship a 20 ‘container — 10 to 12 times more than a year ago.

This made the previously popular schemes unacceptable: for example, when the container was sent half full, or it was transported full at one end and empty back.

Secondly, waiting times for groupage shipments are shorter, while for container shipments they are often 10-20 days, or even longer.

After all, the necessary container still needs to be found. This is especially noticeable on popular routes, for example, China-Vladivostok.

Finally, groupage shipments are much more flexible. The sender can choose a «tariff» for their cargo.

For example:

Sea + railway — 40 days.

Railroad — 20 days.

Sea + air — 10 days.

Air — 5 days.

All this allows each shipper to choose what is more important to him: to deliver the goods faster or save money.

For containers to be more cost-effective, it is usually required to prepare at least 19 cubic meters of cargo for shipment. Therefore, we can expect that groupage transportation will continue to gain popularity among both small and medium-sized companies.