Ocean Freight’s Container Crunch Continues

By Chris Connell :: April 30, 2021

What can we say about ocean freight that we haven’t been saying for a year? There were plenty of shocks in 2020, even for the most grizzled industry veterans, but the influx of cargo and subsequent congestion was evident from most perspectives. CFI has been dealing with equipment scarcity and trucking issues alongside other companies this past year, but through the smart responses, expert industry analysis and some strong gumption, we are guiding our clients to the best decisions they can make throughout the disruption.  

As online shopping exploded during the early, middle, and later parts of the lockdown, which no one could have possibly seen coming, except when they indeed did, the decision to blank sailings by ocean carriers became the first and largest crack in the foundation. Those blanked sailings that ocean carriers used to adjust equipment supply to meet their incorrect expectations for global demand didn’t exactly create the equipment imbalance, but they did make it worse. Many shippers found air freight options a helpful option when ocean cargo stalled and concerns arose about how to expedite cargo early in the pandemic.

In 2020, nobody stopped shopping online for everything all day because shopping online was the only safe, viable entertainment while the world shut down. Most logistics companies are still struggling to keep up in a peak season which is now going into the 14th consecutive month. Even post-pandemic panic buying, the inventory shortages that hit many stores early on still haven’t been fully restocked. Inventory will need to be restocked as the world moves toward spending more on services and less on goods and shopping as entertainment. When the boom is over, the resupply of brick and mortar shops can finally kick in, so the notion that there’s a finite finish line to the issues is technically correct but farther in the distance than initially hoped. 

It may have seemed early on that anyone with a truck and a box could ship cargo, in reality, we’ve learned that expertise, experience, global partnerships, and a passion for our projects are unique skills that CFI is determined to foster in our teams. We’re successful because we’re prepared and working to develop the infrastructure to weather difficult container storms, such as this one. Our solutions don’t stop at ocean containers or air freight charters. Your CFI representative is on hand to discuss air freight options, or domestic truck vs. domestic air to give you the fastest, most cost-effective solutions to suit your logistics needs. We know it hasn’t been easy but it’s our goal to make it as painless as possible. 

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