The Global Shippers Forum, the global trade body that advises shippers and cargo owners in the conduct of international trade, has conducted a study indicating that shippers have found alternative ways of getting their goods to market, while available container shipping services have reached their maximum point and service patterns have changed to serve congested routes.
Global trade has continued to grow during the third quarter, but with deployed container shipping capacity fully utilized. That is why additional growth was being moved by air freight and rail services between China and Europe, as well as own-charter vessels or services provided by non-liner carriers.
Commenting on the findings of the latest Container Shipping Market Quarterly Review, James Hookham, GSF Director, said that the review shows the extent to which shippers sought out alternatives, as shipping lines priced themselves out of reach and narrowed the cost difference with offerings from other modes.
"A measurable share is also accounted for by vessels chartered by shippers for their own goods, or by other non-liner shipping carriers," said Hookham.
"The Great Shipping Crisis of 2021 has taken many casualties as shippers trapped between record rates and very poor service levels struggled to fulfill delivery deadlines for imports destined for the holiday sales season," stated Hookham. He went on to add that shippers will be watching anxiously to see how quickly these conditions abate in 2022 and whether the use of these alternative services will continue to grow.