Maritime freight exceeds US$ 10 thousand per container and generates great apprehension in Brazilian foreign trade

Jul, 29, 2021 Posted by Ruth Hollard

Week 202130

The Covid-19 pandemic caused unprecedented disorganization in international trade logistics, which suffers from congestion at ports, lack of equipment, and excessively high freight rates. Aiming to discuss the current context and perspectives for international container transportation, on July 27, CNI (the national industry confederation) held a webinar with associations and companies operating in Brazilian foreign trade.

In 2020, after the first lockdown measures began to be adopted in different countries, forecasts pointed to a strong retraction in trade, which would only reverse with the end of the pandemic. In fact, in the first half of last year, several productive sectors even interrupted their activities. This pressured shipping companies to adopt drastic measures, such as canceling stops and transport services, to mitigate losses due to the drop in demand.

However, since July of last year, the progressive recovery of the economy in several countries has led to an increase in orders for inputs and goods in foreign trade at levels above projections and beyond the logistical capacity of shipowners and port terminals.

The epicenter of this imbalance between supply and demand was concentrated in China, the largest exporter of manufactured products on the planet, where products were piling up in warehouses and ports, empty containers were lacking, and queues of ships were formed waiting for docking spaces.

The increased demand – repressed in previous months and boosted by changes in consumption patterns redirected to online purchases – led to increases in the cost of transporting containers for all routes originating from Chinese ports.

Freight on the spot market, which was at an average of US$ 2,000 per container before the pandemic, recently reached values ​​close to US$ 10,000 in the case of the route to Brazil, becoming the most expensive freight from China.

Source: Comex do Brasil

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