The shipping industry is seeing the biggest spike in lost containers in seven years. Shipping containers are plunging into the ocean in overwhelming numbers threatening to overwhelm the supply chain and increase already rising prices.
If you haven’t been preparing, you should consider starting. There could be a real short supply of things we could need and rely on if this trend of supply chain interruptions continues.
More than 3,000 boxes dropped into the sea last year, and more than 1,000 have fallen overboard so far in 2021. The accidents are disrupting supply chains for hundreds of U.S. retailers and manufacturers such as Amazon and Tesla.
Greatly exacerbating the situation is a surge in e-commerce after consumer demand exploded during the pandemic, increasing the urgency for shipping lines to deliver products as quickly as possible.
“The increased movement of containers means that these very large containerships are much closer to full capacity than in the past,” said Clive Reed, founder of Reed Marine Maritime Casualty Management Consultancy. “There is commercial pressure on the ships to arrive on time and consequently make more voyages.” –Business Standard
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty estimates that human error contributes to at least three-quarters of shipping industry accidents and fatalities. Additionally, almost all the recent incidents have occurred in the Pacific Ocean. This is where it is said that the busiest traffic and the worst weather collide to create conditions that could destroy cargo. The sea route connecting Asia’s economies to consumers in North America was the most lucrative for shipping companies last year.
The issue, coupled with last month’s grounding of the 400-meter vessel Ever Given in the Suez Canal threw a spotlight on the vulnerability of the shipping industry. The mega-ship blocked traffic through the vital waterway for nearly a week, and the impact on global trade is still being felt.
China’s exports have gone up dramatically as the pandemic fuels demand for all the things people need to work, learn and entertain from home. Food prices are obviously rising and fuel prices are going up steadily. The shock people are about to feel at the pump and the grocery store are only one piece. Everything is looking to be prices higher in the coming months.
Take the necessary steps to get what you need. Things look to get more chaotic before they improve.