Container interchange explanation: When shipping lines have a surplus of containers in a given location, they arrange a container interchange agreement with another carrier that moves their empty containers to a location that has a deficit of containers or active requirements.

Container imbalances are the result of trade imbalances, and carrier-specific inefficiencies and costs account for $20 billion globally. Since slots and containers are complementary service components in shipping – assets can be shared between partners. Most carriers use services like xChange to interchange containers and reduce repositioning costs.