BLOG: Container freight crisis to continue until the world is fully vaccinated

Author: John Richardson

2021/06/18

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Click here to see the latest blog post on Asian Chemical Connections by John Richardson. Until or unless the world is fully vaccinated, we should expect container freight disruptions that have so badly affected the petrochemicals industry to continue.

We are a long, long way from full vaccination as just 0.8% of people in low-income countries had received their first dose of vaccine as of yesterday.

As sporadic lockdowns continue, containers will remain in the wrong places at the wrong times.

The surge in Indian cases is one of the factors in the renewed rise in container freight rates. So are the restrictions at ports in Guangzhou and Shenzhen following an outbreak in Guangdong province caused by the Indian Delta strain of the virus.

Container problems may help cause growth-damaging global inflation.

High petrochemical  price differentials between Europe and other regions could persist.

The economic slowdown already underway in China may gather pace if its port restrictions remain.

Until all of us are vaccinated, none of us are vaccinated. We must resolve the crisis in the developing world for moral and economic reasons.

Editor’s note: This blog post is an opinion piece. The views expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of ICIS.