Container shipping prices have reached record highs some 18 months after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic which disrupted maritime logistics chains and drove demand sky-high.

“We are basically running out of vessels and of empty containers,” Alan Murphy, head of the consultancy Sea Intelligence, told AFP.

The Covid-19 pandemic, which initially brought global shipping to a virtual standstill, did not bode well for the industry and led to “an unprecedented drop in demand”, said Didier Rabattu, of Lombard Odier Investment Managers.

But this did not account for the trends among US and European consumers who during lockdown stopped spending in restaurants and theatres or going on holiday and instead used their money to purchase material goods — many of them imported from Asia.

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