You’ve seen the prices on everything going up, and, in a serious undertaking, Business Insider illustrated the dominoes that led to the key issue: a shipping crisis.
Shortages abound because of “chaos in maritime trade.”
No. 1: It’s way more expensive all around – starting with the actual container.
Insider wrote that the Drewry World Container Index, which measures the price of a shipping container, is up 282% from this time last year.
Those increased overall costs for shipping lead to shortages in lumber, chicken, chlorine … and just about any product you can imagine.
No. 2: It’s all about the global pandemic, which severely compromised the world’s supply chain last year.
So shipping companies themselves were staggered and have yet to fully recover.
Insider distilled the problem on the water, too.
“Ocean shipping powers our ability to buy a massive variety of inexpensive stuff. This system needs many things to function, but I’ll distill those into a few important elements:
“Massive ocean-faring ships.
“Containers on the ships.
“Places for the ships to park so that the containers can be unloaded.”
Among the many more issues centers on “dwell time,” the amount spent at port rather than at sea.
The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association showed that, during the first half of last year, fewer than 5 percent of shipments had a dwell time more than five days; by the last quarter of 2020, about 25 percent waited more than five days.
By late January 2021, Insider wrote, more than 50 ships waited around the LA and Long Beach ports, reportedly for up to two weeks.
The reasons for the backups also include effects from the worker shortages and problems associated with the COVID quarantine process.
This will take time to get back to normal. That’s about all we really know for sure.