The ACA has become aware of a critical global shortage of shipping containers which is causing severe supply chain disruptions. The article from Ship Technology linked here: Global shipping container shortage: the story so far (ship-technology.com) explains that when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, shipping companies began reducing the number of cargo ships that were being sent out. This not only stopped the usual flow of imported and exported goods but also saw empty containers not being collected. This was most significant in the American regions where Asian containers could not be sent back due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Additionally, Hillebrand quote “Freight shipping is in the midst of a unique and unusual predicament. An unforeseen cascade of events caused by the pandemic has us facing a worldwide container shortage crisis. It’s a crisis because the lack of containers has a ripple effect down entire supply chains, disrupting trade on a global scale.” : Where are all the containers? The global shortage explained (hillebrand.com)
MH&L go further by making the point there are simply insufficient containers to keep world trade flowing: There Aren’t Enough Containers to Keep World Trade Flowing | Material Handling and Logistics (mhlnews.com)
This situation has been exacerbated by the recent blockage of the Suez Canal which exposed another weak link in already strained supply chains. This has meant that literally thousands of shipping containers have been stranded on vessels that had to be re-routed due to the blockage; as the Wall Street Journal explains: Suez Canal Blockage Pressures Global Container Supply – WSJ
Cable is considered ‘ugly freight’ as it normally ‘cubes out’ which means the freight forwarder pays by the cubic metre of space taken by a reel of cable rather than the weight of the reel…this makes cable inefficient from a space occupied perspective and comparatively expensive to ship around the world placing even greater imposts on an already difficult situation with container availability.
Purchasers of imported products clearly need to be cognoscente of these facts to ensure their own local supply chains hold up and are not adversely affected by these global situations.
We are also aware that there are already significant issues in the building industry with supply of strategic materials such as timber for example. Not only has supply been short but prices have been escalating rapidly too.
All members of the ACA manufacture electrical cables in Australia. More than ever, this is an important point to take into account when considering supply chain resilience with respect to your critical projects.
Many overseas manufacturing organisations have been ravaged by Covid-19 outbreaks whereas, in Australia, this has been well controlled with only very limited disruptions experienced.
In view of all these factors, it does make sense to support a competitive and resilient manufacturing sector, such as the domestic cable industry, made right here in Australia.