How will the COVID-19 Global Shipping Container Shortage Impact my Move?  

You may have heard that securing high-demand products this holiday season and beyond may be impacted by shipping delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These delays may also burden your move. Here’s what you need to know to better prepare your moving logistics and ensure they run as smoothly as possible. 

Shortage of Shipping Containers 

There is a critical shortage of shipping containers; this will impact both the price and duration of the shipment of goods, including household goods for a long-distance move. One reason this has happened is because the pandemic has altered our spending patterns. Money that was once spent on vacations, gym memberships, and restaurants was replaced by office furniture, home exercise equipment, and hobby supplies. Shutdowns meant that people relied on shipping more than ever as they worked and learned from home. This also meant that delivery services for goods surged, resulting in longer shipping times, and a shortage of shipping containers. This is just a part of the problem.

Piles of Shipping Containers along an Empty Road

Where Containers Go to Sit 

Increase on the need for shipping is just the tip of the storage container iceberg. There are many storage containers that are essentially stranded all over the world. Many containers that carried masks and medical supplies to areas including Africa and South American in the early months of the pandemic are still sitting there, empty, and unused. This is because these are less popular routes than those that connect North America to Asia and Europe. Other areas with a surplus of empty containers waiting to be picked up include those at ports in Australia and New Zealand.  

How Will these Shortages Impact My Move?

The combination of these container shortages and a big influx of shipments have created a bottleneck at many ports. Many ships are stuck, sometimes floating for days at a time, waiting for the space to unload to become available, resulting in even more delays. The Wall Street Journal reports that the average wait time to unload goods in LA is now 13 days as boats idle in the water waiting. In addition to this the time it takes to unload a ship has nearly doubled thanks to staffing shortages, pandemic precautions, and the increasingly complicated logistics of getting unloaded items onto trucks and headed to their intended destinations. To understand the magnitude of the process, it can take up to 8,000 trucks to remove the cargo from just one ship. 

If you are moving from Canada to France for example, the big way this is impacting moves is pricing and timing. Some have reported containers pricing in at a 45 year high. Any hiccup on a route, ranging from lack of containers available to waterway traffic jams, will impact the cost and duration of your move.

Not Today Covid19 Sign On Wooden Stool

What’s Being Done About It  

While no one has a crystal ball to know what the future holds, efforts are being made to catch up with demand. Recently, it has been announced that in the US many ports will begin to work 24/7 to alleviate shipping backlogs. In China, factories are hard at work producing new shipment containers for use, however it will take time for these delays to ease. 

Others are opting for airfreight shipments of goods, which may be faster, but comes at a much higher price, sometimes eight times the cost of shipment by sea. 

Orbit works to prevent delays and keep costs down for our clients. We work to always obtain a confirmed container reservation, however even with this preparation, the current shipping container emergency comes with unexpected and unfortunately unavoidable delays and expenses. Orbit continues to work with our global network to ensure a safe and speedy transportation of your household goods.  

If you are planning a move, or are shipping to Dubai from Canada for example, you are urged to reach out to your moving provider as soon as possible to make a container reservation and plan well in advance.  

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert 

We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time.

To learn more about Orbit, contact us at 416-661-4228.