Seems counterintuitive, right?
Demand for freight and international shipping has only been increasing since the pandemic, and with container shortages so prevalent across the globe, it makes sense to increase the number of ships and containers in circulation.
But that’s not quite the case.
Companies have turned to purchase their own ships and more containers in an effort to combat delays and congestion. Walmart, Home Depot, and Ikea are just some giants who have bought their own vessels in response to product shortages.
Chinese manufacturers like China International Marine Containers (CIMC), Dongfang International Container and CXIC Group have received waves of container orders, and are producing record volumes of shipping containers.
However, the biggest problem the freight industry faces right now is actually congestion.
Hundreds of container ships are stuck in ports across the world, and port closures triggered by COVID-19 cases have just worsened the traffic jam. Multiple countries are also struggling with truck driver shortages, and containers just have nowhere to go.
Experts have stated that “it’s more of a logistics issue than a supply issue,” and that the amount of containers currently in circulation is “adequate” and is able to accommodate trade volumes. The issue arrives when containers, especially empty ones, are stuck in the wrong places, and cannot be transported quickly enough to where they need to be.
Delays and bottlenecks in ports can completely derail shipping schedules, and being held back for a few days can extend the transit time up to weeks. The number of containers and ships isn’t the problem, their locations are.
Beyond riding out the waves and waiting for worldwide port congestion to ease up, there isn’t much for us to do. But you can at least alleviate some stress by knowing where your containers are, and how they’re holding up.
GoFreight offers real-time freight visibility and container tracking features that will allow you to manage your container shipments effectively and efficiently. Sign up for our free demonstration today to see for yourself!