Shipping costs quadruple to record highs on China-Europe trade lane
THE cost of China-Europe shipping has more than quadrupled in the past two months weeks, hitting record highs as a shortage of empty containers stemming from the Covid crisis, reports London's Financial Times
21 January 2021 - 19:00
The cost of shipping an FEU from Asia to northern Europe has increased from about US$2,000 in November to more than $9,000, according to shippers and importers.
Lars Jensen at consultancy SeaIntelligence said, 'It's a bottleneck problem. These rates are being driven by customers fighting over a limited resource - containers.'
Thousands of empty containers were left stranded in Europe and the US in the first half of 2020 when shipping lines cancelled hundreds of trips as coronavirus lockdowns caused a sudden slowdown in global trade. When western demand for Asian-made goods rebounded in the second half of the year, competition among shippers for available containers sent freight rates soaring, the FT said.
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