Shipping containers stacked high on container ships have become the symbol of international commerce. Now that trade is grinding to a half because of container supply constraints. From Mike Mish Shedlock at mishtalk.com:
Two years ago, the cost for a 40-foot container to transport goods from Asia to the U.S was under $2,000. Today it’s as much as $25,000.
When I saw this Bloomberg headline I thought it was about cardboard boxes. Instead, ‘Just Get Me a Box‘ is about shipping containers.
It’s mid-August, and logistics manager RoxAnne Thomas’s phone won’t stop pinging. Her faucets, sinks, and toilets are waylaid near Shanghai, snagged in Vancouver, and buried under a pile of shipping containers in a rail yard outside Chicago.
“Every step of the process, there’s still backlog,” said Thomas, 41, in one of several interviews from late July through August. “The beginning of the supply chain in China—I don’t think that’s going to get better for a year.” And the outlook more broadly? “A year and a half before things are truly back to normal.”
Although the pandemic has shuttered factories and shaken supplies of raw materials, Thomas’s chief challenge is freight, and it starts with what used to be cheap, plentiful commodities: shipping containers.
Two years ago, a 40-foot container cost less than $2,000 to transport goods from Asia to the U.S. Today the service fetches as much as $25,000 if an importer pays a premium for on-time delivery, which is a luxury.
“The fear is we’re ordering all this stuff for demand, and the demand is going to fizzle out before the product gets here,” Thomas says. With summer winding down, the big test of the global trading system’s resilience might still be ahead.
Bloomberg also reports Commodity Shipping Rates Post Biggest Daily Gain in a Decade
Average rates for giant Capesize bulk carriers — which can carry products like coal, iron ore and grains — jumped by $6,700 a day on Monday, the most since 2010, as owners continue to benefit from strong demand for raw materials. The rally extended Tuesday, pushing the daily rate to almost $53,700, the highest level in 11 years, Baltic Exchange data show.