Shipping and supply chain issues continue to plague every aspect of international commerce, with a wide range of challenges specifically impacting the international moving industry. While the issues began prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the added pressure of the global pandemic has only added to complex problems, creating a “perfect storm” for the supply chain industry.

There are three main contributing factors to the supply chain issues impacting international shipping:

  • Container Shortages: There are more than 17 million containers in circulation; only 6 million are available for cargo, but 70% of all cargo shipping is containerized1.
  • Container Imbalances: Imbalances have consistently been a challenge, but the pandemic brought an unexpected export decline followed by a large export surge, further straining the imbalance.
  • Port Congestion/Delays: Container shortages and imbalances were already placing a strain on ports; when combined with the swift surge in import/export volumes and labor shortages due to the pandemic, the congestion and delays are further impacted.

All three of these issues are intertwined – with each impacting the other – further complicating the issues because there is not a single solution for the problems that arise. Other stress factors adding to the supply chain challenges include increased/fluctuating rates and infrastructure issues such as chassis shortages and delays in pick-up appointments for containers.

As the shipping industry works to adapt and adjust to these unprecedented conditions while it searches for solutions, Aires continues to work with our partners to reduce the impact to our clients and their employees.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Aires.

1 As reported in Supply Chain Issues and Their Impact on The International Moving Industry & It Customers: A White Paper Published by the International Association of Movers

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