Container freight prices rose to record levels about 18 months after the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, which disrupted supply chains and increased demand for sea freight very dramatically.
“We’re basically short on empty ships and containers,” Alan Murphy, president of consultancy Sea Intelligence, told AFP.
“There is a huge shortage of empty containers, they are in the wrong place and stuck in distant ports that are not available in Asia” to load them with goods, he added.
The London Baltic Shipping Index, which monitors in cooperation with the Freightos Group in Hong Kong, the price of transporting 40-foot containers across 12 major shipping lines, has more than tripled in a year to reach about $7,000 for a container transport from China to the West Coast of the United States. .
As for the cost of transporting a container to Europe, it reached ten thousand dollars, compared to only 1,600 in the same period last year.
Murphy pointed out that this unprecedented situation compounded the difficulties experienced by the sector in the past ten years, which were “very bad for shipping lines.”
He pointed out that the excess capacity in the sector made shipping companies “lose money every time they transport a container.”