China-US shipping costs soar on pandemic restocking

Dec 21, 2020

American companies seek to rebuild depleted inventories ahead of holiday shopping season.

Container ships are docked at a port in Qingdao, China © Chinatopix/AP Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share on LinkedIn (opens new window) Save George Steer in London and Thomas Hale in Hong Kong OCTOBER 21 2020.

The cost of shipping goods from Asia to the US has soared in the past month as American companies seek to restock depleted inventories ahead of the holiday season and prepare for the pandemic to worsen over the winter. 

Container shipping lines had cancelled hundreds of sailings in the early months of the pandemic as countries around the world closed their borders and global trade slowed. But the reinstatement of services has yet to restore balance in a market responsible for about 90 per cent of global trade.