Cash-Flush Shipping Companies Just Handed Out Bonuses Worth 30x Workers’ Salaries

Rates Likely To Remain Elevated

The reason for all of this, of course, is record-high freight rates. Last year, as Covid forced households around the world to shift a lot of their discretionary spending from experiences to goods, the rate to ship a 40-foot container rose to as much as $20,000 in some cases, compared to less than $2,000 in 2019.

Ports Of L.A. And Long Beach Moved A Record Number Of Containers

In the past several months, you may have run into some empty store shelves, but it’s not due to a lack of effort. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach released their shipping statistics for calendar year 2021, showing that they’ve never before moved so many containers in a single year. Long Beach handled a record 9.38 million 20-foot equiavlent units (TEUs), a 16% jump in volume from 2020 numbers, while Los Angeles reported moving 10.7 million TEUs, also an increase of 16% from the previous year. Collectively, the two ports, which represent over 25% of North America’s total inbound container trade, handled an unheard-of 20 million TEUs.

Can Trade Continue To Grow At This Level?

In many ways, last year was an anomaly, and we can’t expect growth in trade volumes to continue at the same high rate indefinitely. But by all accounts, we can reasonably expect them to grow year-over-year as more and more people join the middle class and seek to buy the things associated with such a lifestyle.

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