The other day, in a casual conversation with a customer, I was asked a question.
The shortage of containers is causing ocean freight rates to rise and space to be hard to come by, so customers have no choice but to pay attention to this issue.
I was asked by a media person a while ago, and on YouTube, I said like this.
On YouTube, I also said,“If we knew this, we wouldn’t have any trouble.
When will this container shortage problem be solved? It’s so difficult to answer. But I get the feeling that a lot of people are looking for an answer.
So I would like to write about my thoughts at the moment in a trite manner.
Container Shortage and the Number of Covid Infections
As I explained in detail in this video, the leading cause of the container shortage that is currently occurring, is Covid-19.
As long as the Covid-19 is not contained, containers will not flow because the workforce will reduce dockworkers, drivers, and manufacturers. So I would like to keep an eye on the number of newly infected people in Covid-19.
Areas where Covid-19 is relatively small impact
In Thailand, currently, the number of infected people is announced every day, but it seems to be in the dozens; sometimes, it is in the 100 people, but the clampdown is tightened once that happens.
Covid-19 is pretty well controlled in Thailand, so I thought “Isn’t it getting better in other countries?
But I found the situation is worse in other countries.
Corona situation in Japan
At the same time, I’ve been listening to the news about Japan every day. Recently, there were 300 people in Tokyo, and Osaka had more than Tokyo.
With the number of infections at this level, the vaccine seems to be available from overseas. With the Olympic Games coming up, I wondered if the corona was coming under control.
I felt that the coronas might be coming to an end.
What about the United States?
In the past, the number of deaths in the U.S. has exceeded 1,000 in a single day, and I thought the situation was getting out of hand.
However, the Pfizer vaccine was the first to hit the market, and furthermore, President Biden is actively encouraging the distribution of the vaccine.
I had heard in the news that Disney World was going to reopen at the end of April, and I thought the situation was getting better.
The data still shows a lot, but I think things are improving.
What about the rest of the world?
Looking at the data so far, I think we are on the right track with our initial expectation that the container shortage might be resolved by the end of June this year.
However, looking at data from other regions, I can’t help but think that the end of June may be impossible.
Number of Corona cases in Italy
I was surprised when I heard the news about the third lockdown on March 15. I was surprised.
Also, as it happens, I had a chance to talk with an Italian forwarder a week ago.
I asked him, “How are you doing?”. He said that it seems not to be very serious as I imagine.
Number of Corona cases in France
I heard on the news that the third lockdown started on March 20. I also see an increasing trend in the data.
A number of Coronary Infections in the U.K
In the U.K, the ports have been in a bad state since last summer. There were so many containers stuck in the ports that shipping companies refused to accept bookings for the U.K.
As far as I can see from the data, there is a downward trend.
Number of people infected with Covid-19 in Brazil
Vaccination started on January 17, 2021. I looked it up, and it says “100,000 people vaccinated by January 22,” but there are more infected than vaccinated.
I wonder if it takes longer for the vaccine to be effective in a country with a large population and people who are close to each other (like hugging).
Number of Corona Infected People in India
India is another area that has been severely affected by corona, looking back on past news memories. I believe that containers were piling up at the ports, and logistics to India were challenging at the beginning of last year.
I have not confirmed the cause of the infection in each country, but India has also seen an increase. India is also developing its vaccine, but the population is too large, and the vaccine has not yet caught up.
European routes are tough
When I saw these data, my impression was that the European route is still tough to recover shortly.
Depending on the status of the vaccine, it may take until the end of September or even the end of the year.
Is the North American route safe?
Since the coronary infection situation in North America is easing up, is the North American route safe? I’m not sure at this point.
One reason is President Biden’s additional economic stimulus package of about USD 2 trillion. If products, not services, are consumed, more cargo and containers will flow from China.
If this happens, there will be more cargo and containers flowing from China, and containers will hold up at the ports of L.A. and L.B. In the meantime, in September and October, the Christmas season and China’s National Day (long vacation) may impact.
One of the conditions for resolving the container shortage is that we must control corona in each country. However, as far as the current situation is concerned, it is not handled in Europe. Other major countries are still in the process of doing so.
In the U.S., the corona is under control partly because of national policy. Still, there is also a possibility that containers from China will increase due to increased consumption from another national policy. They will be held up in ports.
I believe that ocean freight rates will remain high this year and next. This is my view.