Container Crisis Affects $14 Billion Global Market

Crise dos contentores afecta mercado mundial em 14 biliões de dólares

The container crisis has shaken up the global supply chain. Currently, 90% of the world's goods are transported by sea, of which 60% are food, household appliances, and other goods, the remaining 40% are raw materials, necessary for the proper functioning of various industrial sectors, according to OECD data.

In total, and taking into account information from the same organization, this crisis may affect a universe of goods valued at $14 trillion, according to the Statista Research Department's analysis.

Besides the shortage of containers, there is a lack of ships

the sector "faces" the lack of its own ships, specialized in this type of transport, the so-called container ships, according to the Financial Times (FT).

The industry warns that, although several ships have already been ordered, everything leads to believe that, given the massive demand for new container ships, companies will face "tense years", with lack of means, to meet the deadlines.

For Xavier Destriau, CFO of Israel's Zim, one of the world's largest shipping groups, the shortage of ships is "a big threat," to companies and their safety, as many container ships that should have gone "to the scrap heap, continue to operate, in order to meet demand."

"We are feeling that in the next three, four, or even five years, the lack of ships is going to affect us deeply." Destriau's alarm was echoed by Ando Case, CEO of Clarksons, the world's largest shipping consultancy: "the number of shipyards around the globe has fallen by at least two-thirds since 2007, to about 115 facilities.

According to Case, these shipyards are flooded with a deluge of orders, "raking in an unprecedented profit, throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021."

The executive explained in an interview with the FT that the demand for goods skyrocketed from the second half of last year.

This problem is the exact opposite of what has been experienced in the last decade by shipping companies, whose profitability during these years has languished due to too many ships and low demand for them. Large companies like Hanjin in South Korea have been forced to restructure.

On the other hand, companies shy away from the rigging of container ships powered by LNG, a green fuel. This semester, according to the FT, Maersk has avoided buying this type of container ship, arguing that "a lot of uncertainty still hangs in the market against regulation and the technological future of this innovation."

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