Holy-Cow Spikes in China-U.S. Container Freight Rates & U.S. Consumer Spending on Goods Trigger Mad, Possibly Illegal Scramble for Empties. US Farmers Twist in the Wind

by Wolf Richter
Wolf Street

US Federal Maritime Commission investigates container carriers’ “abandonment” of American agricultural industry. Weirdest Economy Ever.

The freight rates from Asia to the US West Coast and East Coast, and to Europe, have exploded since the stimulus economy kicked in, where consumers shifted spending from services – such as airline tickets, haircuts, and even rents under the eviction bans – to goods, powered by money from the stimulus and from refinancing their mortgages at lower rates.

The average spot rate that container carriers charge for shipping containers from Shanghai to the US East Coast shot to a new record of $4,874 per 20-foot-equivalent unit, or TEU, a standard measuring unit in the shipping industry.

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