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Rising freight rates and shortage of containers have become global challenges that disrupt the supply chains of various industries. In the past six to eight months, freight rates across transportation channels have soared. This has had a significant impact on related functions and industries, such as automobiles and manufacturing.
The shipping industry has been one of the industries most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. First, the major oil-producing countries have drastically reduced production due to the impact of the epidemic, resulting in an imbalance between supply and demand and increasing price pressures. Although crude oil prices have hovered around US$35 per barrel until recently, they have now exceeded US$55 per barrel.
Secondly, the surge in demand for goods and the shortage of empty containers are another reason for out-of-control distribution, which in turn leads to a sharp increase in freight rates. As the pandemic stopped production in the first half of 2020, the company had to step up manufacturing to meet the rising demand. In addition, due to the pandemic-related restrictions disrupting the aviation industry, shipping has put tremendous pressure on cargo delivery. This in turn has a knock-on effect on the turnaround time of containers.