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Empty container shipments surge, logistics decongestion far from complete

Corp - Ports 813 Mode - Containerized 1331 Mode - Seaborne 1663 U.S. 4848

The container shipping industry is beset by an equipment imbalance regarding empty containers which could take much of the remainder of Q1’21 to unwind. The container-lines have had to tread a careful line between repositioning empty containers rapidly and drawing the ire of regulators if exporters cannot access equipment. The imbalance is beginning to clear with handling of empty containers at seven U.S. ports analyzed by Panjiva having climbed by 20.7% year over year in December compared to trade in full containers which rose by 14.4%. Port Houston has seen a particularly wide divergen...

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