Shortage of Shipping Containers During Pandemic Causes Increased Prices

February 25, 2021 3:36 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The pandemic has affected myriad aspects of day-to-day living and the economy as a whole. One effect that may fall below the radar of many consumers is the shipping container shortage in Houston, TX. International shipping has become a major factor in transporting goods and supplies worldwide. However, the pandemic has caused a shortage in the supply of shipping containers. The result? Delayed shipments and increased shipping costs.

What’s causing the shipping container shortage?

As the pandemic has spread and countries have recovered at varying rates, this has caused an uneven global economic recovery. Shutdowns in one place affect the next shipment, and so goes the domino effect. While there may be dozens of shipping containers in Houston, TX waiting to be filled, China may be waiting with loads of goods to distribute, with no shipping containers to fill. The containers have become unevenly distributed, and it may take several more months for proper redistribution to occur as economies recover.

Another influencing factor is the lack of new shipping containers. During pandemic lockdowns, fewer shipping containers were produced. Then, since shipping started back up with increased demand, there has been a shortage of containers to meet that demand.

Lastly, manufacturers have also encountered a shortage in supplies to build the shipping containers. Lumber and steel have been harder to come by during the pandemic, which are essential materials for the construction of shipping containers in Houston, TX.

How much has the shortage increased prices?

Compared to January 2020, freight rates in January 2021 for Asia to Northern Europe were up 264 percent, according to supply risk firm Resilience360. Rates for shipping from Asia to the Western U.S. were up 145 percent. More specifically, freight rates from China to the U.S. have skyrocketed 300 percent.

What are the effects of the increased prices?

The shipping container shortage in Houston, TX has left companies scrambling for options. With fewer airline flights to help literally carry the load, companies are facing the effects of simple supply-and-demand economics. They are forced to pay a premium for the few containers that are available. Retailers must eat this cost or pass it along to the consumer. This cost may be seen in shipping rates or the price of products themselves.

Consumers can also expect delays in product arrival. Estimated shipping times may be longer, as companies wait in line for containers to become available, or attempt to keep costs low by avoiding premium costs. Ultimately, the retailer must decide whether to disappoint customers with delayed product arrival or risk losing business due to price increases. It’s a tough call.

Your storage solutions

Even during unprecedented times, the team at A Mobile Box is here to meet your commercial and residential portable container needs. We offer a variety of temporary and permanent storage solutions for personal and business use. Contact us today to learn more about the current availability and pricing for shipping containers in Houston, TX. Get in touch with our team of storage professionals at 979-798-2629.

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