Shipping in crisis

Sep 06 | 2021

Steve Jordan talks to Harm Meierdirks, Managing Director of freight forwarder Carl Hartmann, about the current, and debilitating crisis in shipping that has created eye-watering price hikes and delays in recent months.

Harm Meierdirks  We are all familiar with many of the consequences of the COVID pandemic.  However, one that perhaps was not foreseen, is the current shipping crisis that has caused vessels to be delayed, ports to be congested and shipping rates to multiply to previously unseen levels.  Operationally this causes severe headaches, especially during the peak season. But the knock-on effects for customers are equally significant and disruptive.

The moving industry has traditionally been driven by customer needs: what the customer wants, the customer gets.  But right now, that’s just not possible.  Moving companies need to manage their customers’ expectations.

The problem has been caused largely by COVID.  When the outbreak hit, many vessels were initially laid up.  Then the world started buying online, very successfully, and the demand from consumer nations, especially the USA and Europe, rocketed.  Shipping lines were unable to keep up.  Add to this staff shortages helping to increase delays at ports, and we have the perfect storm ...

Photo: Harm Meierdirks.

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