Container situation ‘not expected to normalise until beginning of 2022’

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“Container shipping demand, and freight rates, continue to remain very high due to a host of factors, many linked to the pandemic,” comments Jeb Clulow, shipping partner at global law firm Reed Smith.

“We are seeing a slew of enquiries related to this, such as whether freight forward/carrier rates remain binding, proposals for inflationary clauses for contracts of affreightment, redeployment from ocean to air transport, re-selling of excess air freight, and generally a much greater focus by retail clients on their transportation and logistics arrangements. We are also seeing a much greater interest in container ship newbuildings

“The US credit ratings agency has predicted that patterns are not expected to normalise until the beginning of 2022. We expect enquiries and the knock-on effects of these challenges to continue for the foreseeable future.

“Those involved in the supply chain process should ensure they are including appropriate protections in contracts wherever possible.”