Container ships struggle to meet the demand for cargo. IKEA plans to continue the problems until August next year.
The problems started when the epidemic started, but only now are they becoming more and more apparent. We thought it would get better, but that hasn’t happened yet, says Eja Tomenen, commercial director at IKEA Norway.
The Swedish furniture giant is affected in the same way as the rest of the retail business. Container ships’ cargo capacity exploded. Especially between Asia and the West. IKEA plans to continue the problems until August next year.
Nobody knows how long it will take before he gets better. If it suddenly changes before August, Tommenen says, we’re ready for that, too.
She says they lack about half the transport capacity they need.
– We’ve reviewed our collection, prioritizing what our customers need most, and what we can expect, says the Ikea manager.
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Capacity challenges also affect goods produced in Europe, many of which depend on raw materials or components transported by ship.
This affects retail at large, and could affect campaign days in November and the Christmas trade, says Harald Jachwitz Andersen, director of Hoves Virke.
The price of shipping containers by sea has doubled during the pandemic. This happened in the wake of increased demand for goods, limited cargo capacity and bottlenecks at ports.
It can mean more expensive goods to consumers, if the stores themselves can’t pay more.
Historically, it has proven difficult for retail to fully pass on increased costs and purchase prices to consumers. The competition is global and fierce. I still think we’ll see some costs pass on to consumers now, and the expected price growth from Statistics Norway may turn out to be somewhat lower, Andersen says.
Container shipping companies are on their way to a historic profit of 700 billion.
The director of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, Harald Solberg, says that the situation of container shipping at sea is largely linked to the corona.
– There is a growth in the consumption of cargo, misplaced containers and delays due to coronary restrictions at the ports. You can see that in some ports there are container ships waiting to be unloaded and loaded, Solberg says.
He finds it difficult to say how long the market will be characterized by delays and limited capacity.
– We see that the demand for new ships is rising sharply, but it has a delivery time. We have to be prepared for this to last several more months, Solberg says.
The leader of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association believes that the situation in the retail trade clearly demonstrates the division of labor in the global economy, and how much we rely on shipping by ship.
– We depend on the freight business. “Neither we nor the authorities were adequately prepared to deal with closed borders and the pandemic,” Solberg says.
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