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Asia’s shortage of empty containers may worsen on Rotterdam jam

Empty containers crucially needed by Asian exporters are accumulating in the port of Rotterdam where carriers prioritize shipments of filled boxes.

Photo: Federico Gambarini/AP/Ritzau Scanpix

Empty container boxes crucial for Asia’s exporters are getting stuck in the port of Rotterdam as a growing backlog of undelivered goods at Europe’s export hub forces ocean carriers to prioritize shipments of filled boxes.

The Dutch port has faced an onslaught of both goods and empty boxes offloaded from other European maritime operations, shipping experts said. This has coincided with carriers reducing the number of vessel trips from the continent to China after Shanghai authorities locked down the city in March, they said.

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