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The container market in the peak season of 2022 may be more chaotic than in 2021

  • Author:Elena
  • Release Date:2022-08-05
The Container xChange survey found that 51% of forwarders expect the traditional peak season in the third quarter of this year to be worse than in 2021; 26% expect less disruption; and 22% expect roughly the same level of disruption.

The resurgence of the virus has disrupted the usual seasonal fluctuations in the container market: factories closed, lockdowns spread, and port congestion followed. Faced with the cross-border logistics industry being forced to press the pause button again, the respondents did not sit still and are preparing a variety of coping strategies to deliver goods to retailers in time during the peak season in the fourth quarter.

The timeliness of containers has fallen to 35.8% in 2021 and further declines in the first quarter of 2022.

Some 37.5% of industry respondents said they would ship in early 2022 to secure freight volumes, 25% used other shipping routes, and 18.8% signed long-term space agreements with carriers.

Despite supply chain difficulties in 2021, disruption is expected in the future. 62.5% of respondents still rely on the spot market or have no specific plans to ensure that shipments reach their destination in a timely manner.

58% of the respondents said that the epidemic prevention blockade in various places makes it difficult for factories to produce as planned, and logistics and transportation cannot transport as many products as possible. These negative realistic feedbacks have heightened concerns that there may be a surge in exports after some countries lift the epidemic prevention blockade in the future, further disrupting supply chains in Europe and North America.

“Accurately predicting this year’s peak season will be harder than usual because there are so many conflicting signs and invisible pressures,” said Christian Roeloffs, co-founder and CEO of Container xChange.

“As the export backlog resumes transportation in the future, the volume of cargo transportation will further surge. After the epidemic prevention blockade is eased, truck drivers will return to work, and the previous backlog of orders will arrive at the same time as peak season orders, which may lead to a large number of European and US ports. The supply chain is clogged."