Closed factories and ports, especially in China, have created major problems for companies throughout the pandemic because it was suddenly much more difficult and much more expensive to move goods from one part of the world to another.
Now, however, it is no longer just a problem for companies and according to a Danish expert in the field, the shipping crisis is now also affecting Nordic consumers. Consumers must expect to deal with more expensive items and a shortage in some product groups before Christmas.
Kim Sundtoft Hald is a professor at Copenhagen Business School, CBS, where he researches and teaches supply chains. In an interview with DR, he says that China’s repeatedly closed or partially closed ports are one of the main reasons why global transport corridors are currently filled with bottlenecks.
One month ago, for example, it was decided to partially close Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, the world’s third-largest container port, because one port employee was infected with covid-19.
“When you close such a port, it creates bottlenecks and it accumulates. When you then open again, there is a large outflow which in turn can create bottlenecks, Kim Sundtoft Hald explains.
And when it comes to global supply chains, a local problem becomes a problem internationally very fast. According to Kim Sundtoft Hald, it is still difficult to determine exactly which areas or transported goods will be most affected by the bottlenecks in the supply chains but one sure thing is that consumers are going to feel it.
“Some companies are earning a larger profit due to the increasing freight prices while others have to pay the extra costs. And that extra payment is to some extent passed onto the consumers, Kim Sundtoft Hald says.
In addition to higher shipping prices, the shipping crisis is also delaying the container ships transporting the goods. Although every link of the supply chain is working at high pressure to get the goods delivered, Nordic consumers are advised to get their Christmas shopping done early to avoid sold-out items in certain product groups.