Anyone who needs to ship something big — or a great deal of something small — rents what is known as an intermodal container for the purpose. But that’s not an easy task at the moment — there simply aren’t enough transport boxes available . Buying a container isn’t easy either. The German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung recently reported that there are only two companies in the world that build and sell shipping containers — both are based in China. Anyone in Europe seeking to buy one can only get it secondhand: Even new containers are first loaded with goods in China and used for one shipment before they can be taken possession of here. Why are shipping prices skyrocketing? The costs of rent and shipment have also risen. Before 2020, transporting a standard 40-foot (12-meter) container on a ship sailing from a Chinese port cost about $1,000 (€840) — currently, one has to pay up to $10,000. Rising prices are always a sign of imbalance. In this case, it is a sign of increasing demand (for containers or shipping space) with stagnating or even declining supply. But there is also a shortage of ship space at the moment. “There are hardly any reserve ships left,” Rolf Habben Jansen,… Read full this story
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