How the Container Shortage Is Causing Disruption

December 22, 2020 12:43 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The global supply chain is a fragile and complex thing, and it’s dependent on millions of people and businesses in order to continue running smoothly. The lack of any one supply can cause a massive rippled effect, and the current shipping container shortage in Houston, TX and beyond is proving to be a costly event. The added complications of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the holiday season have compounded this issue even further, so it’s helpful to take a look at what exactly is causing this disruptive shortage, and how we can begin to remedy it.

Christmas surge

The holiday season always means that more goods will be on the move, especially from manufacturing centers in China to store shelves in the United States and Europe. Retailers want to make sure their shelves are filled, and as a result there are frequent runs on importing and exporting that can cause severe shipping container shortages in Houston, TX and elsewhere as loads of goods head for America, with not nearly as much headed in the other direction. As a matter of fact, many American and European shipping companies are sending back ships full of empty equipment to help ease the exporting bottleneck in Asia rather than sending containers packed with goods.

Inefficient usage

Despite the severe container shortage here in Houston, TX, we are still finding that many of these containers are sitting unused for extended periods. The reasons for this are complicated. For starters, many Asian manufacturers are drawn to trading in the American market because of the high prices that are currently being paid here for their items (margins on intra-Asian trade are comparatively minuscule and thus not nearly as alluring).

This means that an exceptional number of shipping containers wind up in the United States, creating a bottleneck that can take weeks or months to sort out. This, needless to say, creates shortages in other parts of the world, as thousands of shipping containers sit empty on American docks with no more export goods to fill them.

Next steps

Supply chain experts are rapidly responding to these concerns and have initiated several studies to figure out why these kinks in the global supply chain occur. The focus of these studies is to be mostly on the average times containers spend sitting empty and the average time it takes them to get dispatched for their next load, which seem to be the largest concerns.

A shipping container shortage in Houston, TX or anywhere else can create a ripple effect that leads to reduced inventory, higher costs and less efficiency around the world. As a result, it’s vital to nip these problems in the bud and keep the global economy running as smoothly as possible.

The shipping container shortage has been dragging on for quite some time now, and the COVID-19 pandemic is certainly not helping matters. The holiday season always means more goods are on the move, so there is optimism that the worst of this shortage is winding to a close as the new year approaches. If you’re interested in learning more about your shipping options and perspectives on the global supply chain, then give the team at A Mobile Box a call today!

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