While we can say with relative certainty that we are at the tail end of the Covid-19 pandemic (courtesy the vaccines), the consequences of the pandemic are yet to be lived through. As with several industries, its impact on the supply chain industry has been total. The pandemic wreaked havoc on every segment of the value chain, forcing uncertainties within freight demand and capacity availability.
The maritime ecosystem suffered as oscillating freight volumes and grounded container lines crippled stakeholders financially, even as they lay burdened with added pandemic-based expenses over worker health and safety. However, as the pandemic’s first wave subsided and economies reopened for business, pent-up demand came rushing back, peaking at the year-end holiday season.
The sustained increase in container demand on Trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe lanes saw freight rates more than double their usual levels. As carriers struggled to get empty containers back to Asia, cargo rollovers continued to increase globally across all major trans-shipment ports.