INTERVIEW: Freight charge regulations will not solve physical carrier shortage, shipping consultancy says

There is no short-term fix for the container shortage that has sent freight cost to record highs, nor is there a need for regulatory authorities to put a lid on freight rates, Lars Jensen, chief executive officer of SeaIntelligence Consulting, said in an interview with Fastmarkets.

“We are now seeing the consequences of carrier cancellations several months ago that led to a shortage of empty containers in Asia... demand has turned around and the rebalance is a process that takes time; we cannot magically send the containers back to China,” Jensen told Fastmarkets on Thursday December 3.
A demand boom for consumer goods, an imbalance in trade flows to and from China, and competition between cargo holders have kickstarted a rapid increase in shipping costs.
Rates for the China-Europe route have seen the biggest spike, with the price of a container close to $3,500-$4,000 including peak season surcharges, market participants told Fastmarkets. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) shows an increase of 20% week on week in this route.

The soaring costs, increasing logistics disruptions and cancellations have stirred export groups to call for tighter regulation. India is the latest country to outline...


Cristina Belda

December 08, 2020

15:13 GMT