A critical shortage of containers is driving up shipping costs and delays for goods purchased from China.
The pandemic and uneven global economic recovery has led to this problem cropping up in Asia, although other parts of the world have also been hit.
In December, spot freight rates were 264% higher for the Asia to North Europe route, compared with a year ago, according to Mirko Woitzik, risk intelligence solutions manager at supply chain risk firm Resilience36, as reported by CNBC.
For the route from Asia to the West Coast of the U.S., rates are up 145% year over year.
Compared with last March’s low prices, freight rates from China to the U.S. and Europe have surged 300%, Mark Yeager, chief executive officer of Redwood Logistics, told CNBC. He said spot rates are up to about USD 6,000 per container compared with the usual price of USD 1,200.
Even rates from the U.S. have gone up, though not quite as dramatically, according to Yeager.
– The reason for this is the Chinese are being so aggressive about trying to get empty containers back … that it’s hard to get a container for US exporters – he wrote in an email to CNBC, adding that 3 out of 4 containers from the U.S. to Asia are “going back empty.”
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