In a recent press release, Sea Intelligence used data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to present their findings on whether or not the current container demand in North America will be sustainable.

Typically, consumers spend more on services than goods, and the rate of growth has always reflected that. However, there was a strong divergence in the 60-year long trend line in 2020, when COVID-19 swept through the globe.

When the deviation occurred, there was actually a brief period of stagnation (lockdown), followed by an incredibly high peak in consumer spending focused on goods. COVID-19 fundamentally changed the way consumers spend money.

Instead of spending money on experiences like entertainment, travel, and services, people buy tangible objects, with a focus on online shopping. It increased demand for freight forwarding services from Asia to the US and increased freight rates

Over the past few months, consumer spending on goods has actually been declining. Consumers are still spending money at similar rates, but now are focused on services instead, which hints at a shift in consumer behaviour. 

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