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According to a recent report, the bottleneck situation for ocean containers is becoming more severe around the world. As writes, exporting countries are experiencing container shortages, while importing nations are seeing containers pile up in the meantime.

Supply chains collapse as container shortages persist
Supply chains collapse as container shortages persist

Challenge brings supply chains to a standstill

KARACHI: As economies around the world recover from the Covid lockouts, a new challenge has brought supply chains everywhere to a standstill. A severe shortage of shipping containers in some countries, coupled with an oversupply in others, has created uncomfortable bottlenecks around the world, with Pakistan being particularly hard hit

“There is a significant shortage of containers, and it will take us until March to address it,” said Mohammed Rajpar, chairman of the Pakistan Ship’s Agents Association. “The crisis started back in September, but there are no signs of it abating,” he added.

Resumption of global shipping difficult

When shipping lines around the world ground to a halt, some countries had a surplus of containers and others had a deficit as ships were parked at the nearest ports where they could be safely stowed at the lowest cost. Restarting global shipping is proving more difficult than initially thought.

Growing demand drives up freight costs

In the meantime, freight costs have skyrocketed, in some cases forcing importers to cancel certain orders. Exporters have also been hit hard by the crisis.

“Freight rates have gone up two to four times and in some cases eight to 10 times,” Rajpar told Dawn. “We used to be able to ship a freight to China for $400 to $500, but today it costs $4,000. Freight to the U.S. used to cost $2,500, now it has gone up to $4,000 to $5,000,” he said. However, he added, prices can vary depending on volume.

Other industry associations report similar things. 20- and 40-foot containers are hard to come by. Which raises the cost of freight.


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