The cost of importing containers filled with consumer/household goods from Asia into the UK has reached a record high after a surge in demand in the weeks before Christmas and the UK’s exit from the EU. Rates have not settled down in 2021.. In fact just gone up further!
Shipping experts believe the UK has been dealt a double blow by the impact of the coronavirus, which has disrupted global shipping supply chains, and the end of the Brexit transition period, which caused a large increase in imports in the last months of 2020. Container freight rates from Asia have increased almost tenfold since November to reach USD$10,000 for a 40ft unit for the first time (James' update…. About USD$18k as of 20th Sept!!), amid a global rebound in demand for consumer goods and materials, and congestion in UK ports where many empty containers have been left stranded.
Vincent Clerc, chief commercial officer for Maersk, the world’s biggest shipping company, said there are “simply not enough containers in the world to cope with the current demand”. He said that recent lockdowns in the UK and across Europe may even spur further online purchases of consumer goods such as home exercise equipment and furniture for “at least for some weeks … It is really crazy how much we are moving at the moment, huge amounts,” he said.