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Por: SILVERSEA containers August 3, 2021

International trade and the shortage of maritime containers

Almost a year and a half after Covid impacted and totally changed the way we work, we found ourselves with an even worse problem: a stagnant international trade due to the shortage of sea containers.   This major imbalance has put international logistics flows at stake.   If we are talking about numbers, the [...]

Almost a year and a half after Covid will impact and totally change the way we work, we are faced with an even worse problem: a stagnant international trade due to the shortage of sea containers.  

This major imbalance brought international logistics flows into play.  

In terms of numbers, shipping rates between China and the US coast are up 173% compared to the last two years before Covid-19.  

The cost of shipping containers greatly tripled from $2,000-3,000 to over $7,000 by January 2021.  

But why did all this happen? The reason is that there were not enough sea containers for everything that had to be brought in from China, which led to a bottleneck in exports to the West with thousands of products to be brought in at ever higher prices.  

This, coupled with high demand, led to a delay in the logistics system. 

COVID-19 AND LOGISTICS  

In the early 2020s, restrictions caused a slowdown in world trade, resulting in thousands of containers being stranded in Europe completely empty.   

Shipping empty containers to China was not an option because of the costs involved.  

After a few months, when the Covid situation seemed to be more "stable", there was a high demand for sea containers, thanks to China's return to manufacturing.  

BUT EUROPE? WHAT HAPPENED THERE?  

Although at first glance it may seem that the problem was with China and Europe, the reality is that it affects all international trade. Currently the price of any standard sea container shipping from China to Europe costs twice as much as in 2019. 

This gives rise to two options, to wait for the bottleneck to ease or to accept the high prices.  

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