ShippingWatch

Shortage of new shipping containers adds to global trade turmoil

Container makers are scrambling to meet a surge in demand for the metal boxes that transport close to 90 percent of the world's goods around the globe. A trade boom in the container market has thrown close to 25 million boxes off their normal routes.

Photo: Uncredited/AP/Ritzau Scanpix

The world's biggest makers of shipping containers are scrambling to meet a surge in demand for the metal boxes that shuttle some 90 percent of the goods around the global economy.

trade boom in the second half of last year caught the container producers – mostly Chinese companies – by surprise as the pandemic threw the existing supply of about 25 million boxes off their normal routes. The manufacturers have been ramping up output ever since, but they’re unable to alleviate shortages that have underpinned soaring freight rates for six months.

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