Containers Pile-Up At Ports After Post-Covid Slump

During the pandemic, shipping containers couldn’t be built fast enough. Demand for physical goods led to a shortage of steel boxes and production subsequently ramped up. Now a surplus of containers poses a new problem for ports… overcrowding.

Most containers are built in China, and ports there are likely to be inundated by old or unused boxes.

One of the largest producers of these boxes is China International Marine Containers whose profits plunged 91% in the first three months of this year.

The company reported that sales of standard containers dropped 77% during the same period and shipping leaders have already began halting production of their dry containers, with some even scrapping their older boxes.

A sharp decline

Figures reported by the Financial Times show that the production of 20-foot equivalent units – the standard size for containers – fell by 71% between the first quarter of 2022 and the same period this year.

It should come as no surprise. According to the latest World Trade Organization forecasts, there will be a boost to trade in goods of just 1.7% this year – down from 2.7% growth in 2022.

For those in the industry, this was expected. But it does still highlight the precarious nature of supply chains in general.

A need for expertise

It’s because of the precarious nature of supply chains that we’re now seeing more businesses look to strengthen their flow of goods. How are they doing this? By investing in expertise.

The number of US job postings for supply chain managers on LinkedIn more than doubled between 2019 and 2022. In the UK, vacancies for supply chain managers on jobs site Indeed rose 36% between 2019 and 2022.

Increasingly industry experts are being sought after to help make key business decisions. Their insight into shipping and freight is being relied upon to avoid the chaos companies experienced during the pandemic and subsequent reopening.

Where we come in

At Cardinal, our expertise won’t only help you navigate the ebb and flow of global trade, but also save on costs in your supply chain. By leveraging our international infrastructure, clients can tap into new markets and enhance their existing operation.

The best bit? You get complete peace of mind thanks to our award-winning supply chain platform Leda. With it you can track your cargo, process sales and manage vendors.

If you’d be interested in seeing how our insight can help you, or where our software can support your supply chain, get in touch with the team today.