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Shipping: from the pandemic to sustainability

A side effect of the pandemic has been transport restrictions that have made shipping goods slower and more expensive, and the already worrying situation was made even more dramatic with the recent incident of the cargo ship Ever Given in the Suez Canal. There are real concerns about worldwide commerce, and the luxury industry is not immune.

Fabio Bonavita

By Fabio Bonavita03 juin 2021

The continuing health crisis has led to a sudden increase in the need for cargo, resulting in a shortage of containers and capacity on board ships, and a general increase in shipping rates (Shutterstock)

Luxury brands depend on their supply chains. To prevent counterfeiting and protect themselves from other issues, the luxury industry carefully tracks its products from the manufacturing plant to the store or warehouse to the end customer. But in the past year, due to the pandemic, shipping operations have become vastly more complicated. This has been particularly true for maritime transport, as Jérôme Volluz, president of the Maritime Commission of the umbrella association Spedlogswiss Romandie, explains. “In the early months of the pandemic, until June/July 2020, we witnessed a significant drop in demand because many importers and buyers put their orders on hold to reduce inventory levels as a precautionary measure. As the crisis continued, companies were forced to replenish their inventory. Quite unexpectedly, demand in some areas exploded. As a result of this mix of different factors, Chinese demand for European goods spiked, leading to a shortage of both containers and shipping capacity. That sent shipping prices through the roof.”

Freight transport was heavily impacted by the pandemic. (Unsplash)

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