Shippers worldwide 'furious' at 'chaotic' ocean freight market
Friday, February 19, 2021
Shippers worldwide are "furious" at the chaotic state of the ocean freight market and the lack of mechanisms to resolve it, according to the Global Shippers’ Alliance (GSA), which represents the logistics interests of manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers. Sustained buoyant demand, tight vessel capacity and an acute lack of available empty containers in key export locations has led to major congestion at certain key ports, affecting freight flows and supply chains globally and triggering a surge in shipping rates. “Production, marketing activities, and distributions are all disrupted and the economic costs are beyond measure”, said Chairman Denis Choumert,who is also Chairman of the European Shippers’ Council (ESC). For his part, Godfried Smit, Secretary General of the ESC, noted: “Many major European ports are jammed, while container ships are waiting for a berth, inbound containers are sitting in the terminals to be cleared and shipping lines are refusing outbound bookings because they want to expedite return of the containers to the Far East”. Godfried went on, “outbound freight rates have risen 5-6 times and exporters may still not get a booking”.
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