Surging shipping rates pose new headwind for global economy

published 14.01.2021 16:45

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Compounding the industrial imbalances are transport woes plaguing consumer and health-care sectors still dealing with a dearth of available shipping containers to move components and finished products out of China, Taiwan, South Korea and Asia’s other export powers.

Nerijus Poskus, vice president for global ocean at San Francisco-based freight forwarder Flexport Inc., reckons the world needs the equivalent of 500,000 more 20-foot containers -- roughly enough to fill 25 of the largest ships in operation -- to satisfy the current demand.

Elevated container rates "may factor in for the rest of the year, ” even if the current disruptions get ironed out, said Chris Rogers, lead trade analyst for SP Global Market Intelligence’s Panjiva.

China won a record share of world trade last year and Taiwan’s exports continued their double-digit recovery in the final month of 2020.

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