- DATA from shipping analyst Sea-Intelligence indicates the global “empty container problem” is intensifying.
- According to the most recent analysis on August 26, the typical transit time has subsequently decreased to 88 days.
A recent news article published in the DCN by Abby Williams states that Empty container problem intensifying, analysts warn.
An average of 45 days pre-pandemic to 112 days at its peak
According to analysts, the transportation time between cargo being ready for export and the importer taking delivery increased from an average of 45 days pre-pandemic to 112 days at its peak in February this year.
The most recent measurement on 26 August suggests the average transportation time has since dropped to 88 days.
“As transportation times were extended, containers got tied up in the longer supply chain, which is what caused the initial increases in freight rates in the second half of 2020, as not enough empty containers could be moved back out to Asia in time,” Sea-Intelligence CEO Alan Murphy said.
“With a massive shortage of empty containers, carriers had to order new containers to be manufactured in Asia, and these were then fed into the extended supply chains.”
Additional containers are expected to be released back
Mr Murphy said additional containers are expected to be released back out of the supply chain now that the transportation times are getting shorter, and they will likely start to pile up in Europe and the United States.
“If transportation time is back to ‘normal’ by early next year, we will see the release of 4.3 million TEU of excess containers into North America, which cannot be expatriated, within the planned network operations.
“This will potentially overwhelm empty container depots in the US, an issue which is already beginning to materialise.”
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