Out of all the goods that utilize bulk chartering, iron ore has one of the largest trading volumes. But daily renting fees for bulk carriers in Japan have recently skyrocketed and become the highest rates in 11 years. 

According to the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), which is an index that shows freight rates for dry bulk shipments, on August 27th, 2021, prices rose 0.95% to close at 4,235 points, a record high in 11 years. November 24th, 2009 was the last time freight rates were that high. 

A representative from Nippon Yūsen Kabushiki Kaisha, NYK, expressed that although the number of bulk carrier vessels has increased by 1.2 to 1.5 times in the past 3 years, rates are not likely to decrease anytime soon. And that is because China, the largest importer of iron ore, stepped up preventative measures against the Delta Variant and positive coronavirus cases in general, which led to a decrease in functioning ports, and an increase in processing times. 

Typhoons, which occurred in Japan one after another this summer, have also exacerbated congestion. With containers and ships both experiencing shortages, the closure of multiple Chinese ports will only trigger charter rates to fluctuate upwards. 

Congestion across the globe is putting a strain on the supply chain industry as a whole. Several ports are experiencing congestion levels at an all-time high across all facets, including rail congestion, warehouse shortages, lack of staff, the list goes on. Companies are doing their best to adapt, but since the industry does not allow anyone to take breaks, freight rates have no chance to loosen up and decrease.