Carriers say container booking cancellations, and the failure of importers and exporters to notify them of the cancellations, are contributing to supply chain disruptions during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The current round of government support appears to have rekindled the debate over whether such influence is detrimental to the container shipping industry.
Containerized agricultural exports surged in the first quarter over the year-ago period when China’s tariffs on many US commodities crushed ag exports to China.
A wave of government support measures and the rising threat of overcapacity speaks to the pain on the way, even if carriers have shown they’ve learned from the 2008-2009 global financial crisis not to pull punches when it takes to cutting capacity quickly.
Walmart remained atop the list of the 100 largest US importers by a wide margin in 2019, while Koch Industries retained to the No. 1 export spot.