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The operational challenges for container booking have now persisted for half a year, and that they are seemingly nowhere nearer to getting resolved. If anything, they mainly appear to be getting worse.
Covid-19 Implicates Container Booking
It is no surprise that the coronavirus has plenty of effects internationally and across all industries, including global shipping and container booking.
Over the first few months of 2020 when Covid-19 first hit globally, container trade and ports decreased drastically in the Far East, Europe, North America, and Oceania, however not as much in emerging countries. The decrease in these container bookings has resulted in the reduction of supplies. In addition, according to the International Transport Forum, many ship operators have begun to cancel their services leading to many idle vessels, up to 30% for the Far East-Europe and 20% for the Trans-Pacific. Global container ports have also faced a lot less activity from 2021 versus 2020. In fact, when looking at the Chinese ports, activity fell 5% in January 2020 to 2021, then 17% in February of both years, then another slim 2% in both March months.
Container shipping lines have had to prepare for port lockdowns or new viruses and strands occurring, which has disrupted normal operations.
On a positive note, container shipping has not faced as many issues as tourism or airline industries, however, its impact will continue for a long time. The longer and widespread the outbreak continues, the more damage the container shipping industry will face.