Tumultuous Time For Container Shipping

T u m u l t u o u s T i m e F o r C o n t a i n e r S h i p p i n g

Recent shipping rates have skyrocketed as much as 187% over equivalent China – US West Coast shipments from the previous year, and as much as 84% over China – US East Coast shipments.

Alphaliner Weekly Newsletter: Issue 2020-36

There are several contributing factors that could explain the rise:

  • Alternate shipping patterns/routes created during COVID lockdowns have not fully shifted to their previous ports/routes, creating an under-supply of container ships at larger ports
  • Production and shipping delays caused by COVID shutdowns, along bumps in ecommerce sales have created some backlog in containers leaving China

As a result:

  • China officials have requested that cancelled sailings be restored and pressured state-owned carriers reinstate their blanked sailings
  • Maersk & Hapag-Lloyd have added or restored capacity
  • Carriers have cancelled or reduced their scheduled September rate increases

Also consider:

The prospects for future volumes and activity remain mixed. Predictions vary from strong stable volumes for the remainder of the year, to steady declines for the remainder of 2020.