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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Why container shipping will never be the same again

Listen to the latest edition of the Lloyd’s List’s weekly podcast — your free weekly briefing on the stories shaping shipping

Container shipping is not going to return to normal, according to Otto Schacht, the head of sea logistics at Kuehne+Nagel. The lines have a unique opportunity to permanently end the boom and bust cycles that have destroyed so much shareholder value over the years, and create an industry able to make decent money in bad times as well as good

 

HOWEVER extraordinary the current rates in container shipping are right now, the current squeeze on ship capacity will not continue for ever.

The multi-billion dollar question is what happens next.

With so much money sloshing around, the standard, somewhat cynical view would be that the lines will perform their party piece of shooting themselves in the foot by over ordering, while the cargo bulge will end once everyone can start spending on holidays again. Let’s not forget that, despite the current supply chain chaos, volumes are only about 2% up on 2019 levels, so not much underlying growth here. 

But not everyone agrees with this view and our guest on this week’s podcast believes that container lines are in an unparalleled position to permanently end the boom and bust cycles that have destroyed so much shareholder value over the years, and create an industry able to make decent money in bad times as well as good.

Otto Schacht is executive vice-president of sea logistics at Kuehne+Nagel and, having had a front row seat of all major market moves during the past 40 years, he has concluded that the box trades will not return to the way they were prior to the pandemic when shippers and forwarders often enjoyed very cheap transport costs.

The full interview with Mr Schacht can be read here.

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