Too many empty containers

On top of falling freight rates, data shows container depots — used to house containers after they are unloaded — are now filling up or full. It points to more signs of falling global demand and an impending economic slowdown.

Traders and shippers say the decline in global consumer demand is not a sign the global economy is normalizing after a frantic post-lockdown consumption rush but a downward shift in consumption appetites…

Monti told Container xChange that the peak season of goods shipments — as Christmas looms — “technically did not happen this year.” Retailers are cautious about the high level of inventory they have on hand, Monti said…

Blank or canceled sailings are also on the rise in what is usually the opposite, as the year’s biggest spending period approaches. A blank sailing happens when a shipping company decides to skip a port or an entire leg of its schedule to manage changes in demand and capacity.