As a “barometer” of global trade, containers have a complete set of operating processes. However, under the impact of the epidemic, this process has fallen into chaos. Problems such as insufficient containers and uneven distribution of containers have also become a “barometer” for the performance of multinational companies. Obstacle.”
Global shipping is “hard to find a box”, and US companies such as Nike are suffering the most!
Let’s first look at the problem of insufficient containers. Japanese media reported on March 30 that since the number of containers and the loading and unloading capacity of ports cannot meet the recovery needs after the epidemic, logistics stagnation has affected the supply and factory operations of countries around the world since the second half of 2020. Take the shipping company Maersk as an example. In the past, the company’s containers could be turned around 6 or 7 times a year, but now they can only be turned over 2 or 3 times.
According to the Japanese media report, the United States is the country most affected by the stagnation of logistics globally. As of February 2021, the index on the “Supplier Delayed Delivery” item of the U.S. ISM Manufacturing Index has been rising for seven consecutive months.
As for the company specifically, the chief financial officer of Costco Warehousing, the largest membership-based warehouse supermarket chain in the United States, said that from December 2020 to February 2021, the company’s Furniture, sporting goods, cooking oil and cheese and other food products have all delayed arrival times; Nike also said that its operating income in North America decreased by 10% in the third quarter due to delays in inventory movement by more than 3 weeks.
The second is the problem of uneven distribution of containers. Due to the “blowout” trend of China’s foreign trade in the second half of 2020, the containers scattered around the world are not flowing back smoothly. According to market statistics, China can only return 1 out of 3 containers exported, which has led to a large backlog of empty containers in the United States and Europe. and Australia. In this regard, Finnish container leasing company O.V. The founder of Lahtinen also lamented that he had never seen such crazy market phenomena.
Among them, American companies are most deeply affected by the uneven distribution of containers. It is reported that since shipping empty containers directly from the United States to China is more “profitable” than waiting to be filled with goods and then shipping from the United States to China, most shipping companies choose the former. A US media investigation found that from October to November 2020, about 170,000 empty containers (20 feet) were transported, resulting in about 3.11 million tons of the country’s agricultural products “stranded in the country.”
Shipping costs between China and the United States soared by 250%! When will the sky-high shipping rates stop?
Whether it is a shortage of containers or uneven distribution of containers, they have provided support for the rise in shipping costs. Taking Sino-US shipping prices as an example, data from the Shanghai Shipping Exchange shows that in mid-March, the shipping price from Shanghai to the West Coast of the United States has risen to US$3,999 (approximately RMB 26,263) for a 40-foot container, which is the same as the same period in 2020. It’s up 250%.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities said that compared with the annual signing fee in 2020, the current spot freight rate has a gap of 3 to 4 times.
It is reported that in October 2020, container equipment lessor Textainer predicted that as vaccination progress accelerates, by 2021 In mid-February, the container shortage problem will be alleviated. However, at present, Textainer’s prediction has not come true; and according to the latest predictions by analysts from Japan’s Okasan Securities, if the shortage of containers and ship detention cannot be resolved, the rare situation at this stage will High freight levels will continue until at least June.
It should be noted that while the balance of global containers has not yet been restored, the “big ship jam” in the Suez Canal seems to have made the operation of global containers “even worse.” According to media reports, during the past week of the massive ship jam, nearly 300 ships were waiting in line. Although traffic has been restored, it will still take several days for it to be completely unblocked. </p