FOCUS: Container shortage straining freight supply chains

The persistent logistics disruptions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic have forced traders and buyers to rearrange their supply chains, and to change packaging and delivery destinations, while the continuing container crisis has pushed the US freight regulator to investigate the situation.

The commodity world is facing logistics problems arising from the global container shortage. Additional problems have appeared in China, which is dealing with power shortages, flooding in Henan province, and Covid-19-related quarantines, while in South Africa there were outbursts of civil unrest in July.
The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), which tracks average spot rates for shipping containers from Shanghai along 13 key shipping routes, has more than tripled over the past year, reaching 4,225.86 points on Friday August 6.
Fastmarkets has asked market participants how they have learnt to deal with the challenges.
They said that they have had to become more flexible in terms of packaging and delivery addresses.
And they have sought alternative means of transportation instead of relying on container shipments. “We are now moving to big bags in bulk shipments rather than using containers,” one graphite trader said.

But transportation in bulk carries...

Published

Sofia Okun

August 10, 2021

15:52 GMT

London