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Why Covid-19 Caused Shipping Container Shortage?

by | Mar 16, 2021

The global Covid-19 pandemic affected the world economy in numerous ways, and it didn’t exclude the container industry. The shortage of shipping containers became a global issue. 

At the end of 2019, we received news that China was under lockdown. By the summer of 2020, the virus has found its way through Europe to the U.S. and the rest of the globe. With safety measures that governments introduced, sales and the world trading businesses decreased drastically. However, this changed in June 2020, and suddenly the carriers had to deal with large demands. 

The situation turned to a different kind of extreme, and the number of available containers was significantly reduced. So, why did this happen?

Unpredicted Reduction

There aren’t many business owners who would have thought that a virus could affect their overseas trading as much as Covid-19 did. However, when everything was stopped for two months, normal shipping flow was disrupted. Once bans were lifted, businesses rushed to recover, which increased the demand for shipping containers.

 

The reduction didn’t pass by a workforce on ports and operational vessels, as well. Many terminal workers and truck drivers lost their jobs. This further caused vessel delays, limitations on the amount of cargo that can be loaded and even missed sailings. Furthermore, some operational vessels went for restoration. Some of them even had their sails interrupted because the staff on the boat was affected by a coronavirus. Due to all of that, the number of vessels on the market reduced as well.

 

Additionally, people changed their purchasing habits. This caused numerous irregularities in world trade, making sea cargo transportation change significantly.

 

Potential Solutions

 

Even though the shipping container shortage put a lot of pressure on certain businesses, many of them decided to take specific steps that will improve their trading. Here we present some of the potential solutions for your situation:

 

  • Make a Flexible Plan

 

Careful examination of potential situations on the market can help you create a firm plan when you are not sure what is the next step. You should find sources that can provide you with the most reliable predictions for important events. Having this knowledge will help you choose the right type of container and develop alternative routes. However, you should make your plan as flexible as possible. That way you will increase your options.

 

  • Rearrange the Bookings

 

Unfortunately, this is a time when one of the best decisions you can make is to reduce your workload. Still, it will be beneficial because it will allow experts to dedicate more time to the logistics and cargo itself. Booking shipments several weeks in advance and minimising no-shows or cancellations will also help. To maintain a decent business flow you should pay strong attention to creating a shipment schedule that you can keep up the step with.

 

  • Choose Premium Services

 

One last thing that might have a positive effect on your shipment is the usage of premium products. Some carriers and container companies will offer to include additional equipment while loading your shipment. And this will also include advantages like more available space or better organisation of the products inside of it. Though a price for this type of service may be higher, you will ensure that some of your more sensitive and important items are secure. 

 

Collaborate With Reliable Container Manufacturer

 

Having in mind that additional equipment may not guarantee your cargo will get to its destination unharmed, a good idea is to use a container that is customized according to your needs. You will get a completely new container that can be modified in any way you want. And, if you don’t know any reliable manufacturers, we suggest you contact Container Options. Our company gathers experts that will create bulk, tank, hi-cube or any other type of container according to your wishes.