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Commodity shipping rates are surging and the rally is not over

The quick yet uneven recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause rising demand and soaring rates in bulk freight.

Photo: Dimitri Messinis/AP/Ritzau Scanpix

For a glimpse of how quickly and unevenly economies are recovering from the pandemic, look no further than the market for shipping raw materials.

Rising demand for everything from soybeans to steel has sent the cost of hauling dry goods soaring more than 50 percent this year. Manufacturing, which first picked up in China, is now accelerating elsewhere, and countries are stepping up commodity purchases to rebuild stockpiles after running them down during lockdowns that slowed port operations and hit economic activity globally.

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