The complex web of seaports, container ships, and trucking companies that move goods worldwide remains deeply tangled.
More than 18 months since the virus pandemic forced governments to shut down their economies and, in return, disrupt global supply chains. The emergence of the Delta variant has metastasized into more logistical hell for shippers.
“We do not expect freight rates to stabilize in the near term,” according to Karsten Michaelis, head of ocean freight at DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific.
“The combination of a year of disruption, lack of containers, port congestions and a shortage of vessels in the right positions is creating a situation where cargo demand far exceeds available capacity.”
Michaelis said his customers had been given alternative routes and modes of transport to navigate the turmoil. “We have to be prepared that costs will stay at elevated levels and are not expected to go back to pre-Covid levels,” he said.
Global container prices are at record highs.
Michaelis said the seasonal surge for holiday goods has already begun and will keep ocean freight “tight” for the remainder of the year.