Global Shipping Costs Break Records

Today’s disruptions are even more significant than those during the financial crisis of 2008, says the Thomas Index Report. Prices for ocean freight shifted more than 72 percentage points over the course of the pandemic starting in 2020 to a peak in Q3 2021, when prices were more than 50% higher than average container shipping rates. That shift is notably higher than the 41 percentage point swing observed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the report says.

Analyzing figures dating back to 1997, COVID-related supply chain pressures far exceed long-term supply trends, reaching a new high in October 2021. However, a shift back down the following month indicates that global supply chain pressures may have peaked and will start to moderate going forward, Thomas says.


Looking ahead, Industry 4.0 is poised to revolutionize the logistics sector by optimizing global supply chain sustainability. In 2019, the global next-gen supply chain market drove about $32 billion. Within the next eight years, that market size is expected to more than double, the report says.

Top 10 CATEGORIES with the Most Sourcing Activity January 2022 Month-ON-Month Increase

1. Mining machinery: 5,400%

2. Aluminum contract manufacturing: 3,322%

3. Burners: 2,778%

4. Meters: 1,986%

5. Boxes: 1,762%

6. Turnstiles: 1,683%

7. Protective clothing: 1,613%

8. Industrial vacuum cleaners: 1,521%

9. Machining: 1,218%

10. Repair services: 1,194%

Source: Thomas Index Report

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