Packed containers are piling up at Asian ports as strong demand from the U.S. and Europe causes a lack of supply of ships. Shipping companies had purposefully idled capacity during the economic downturn, then started to bring it back recently.
Yet they didn’t do it fast enough to keep up with the robust pick-up in demand from the West.
“With the economy recovering, we have been seeing a lot of containers that didn’t make it out on time because there wasn’t enough space on ships,” he said.
A capacity crunch on transpacific routes has disrupted deliveries of Asian and U.S. exports, prompting a probe by U.S. regulators. Container lines have cut trips and imposed higher rates on customers, or shippers, after slumping trade and an excess supply of vessels caused industrywide losses of about $20 billion last year, according to Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd.
Note that at the same, time container shipping companies such as Neptune Orient are getting quite aggressive on the fleet expansion front, both bring idle capacity back online and looking to lease or buy new ships. In additon, a few weeks back it was rumoured that this exact scenario would happen, thanks to Transport Trackers and Alphaliners.
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