The grounding of the Ever Given has delayed shipments of consumer goods from Asia to Europe and North America, and agricultural products moving in the opposite direction. As of Monday, some 367 vessels, including oil tankers and dozens of container ships, were waiting to transit the canal, which handles about 12% of global trade.
“There’s been a great convergence of constraints in supply chains like I’ve never seen before,” said Bob Biesterfeld, the CEO of C.H. Robinson, one of the world’s largest logistics firms. The bottlenecks are widespread, affecting transport by air, ocean and road, Biesterfeld told CNN Business in an interview. “It really has been unprecedented.”
Freight costs soaring
More than 80% of global trade by volume is moved by sea, and the disruptions are adding billions of dollars to supply chain costs. Globally, the average cost to ship a 40-foot container shot up from $1,040 last June to $4,570 on March 1, according to S&P Global Platts.
Those costs add up. In…