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PUBLISHER: The Load Star (

Starting the year in lockdown and ending the year in lockdown, it all seems like a scene from the Bill Murray classic film Groundhog Day, but in between we did manage some valuable face-to-face networking. So here’s hoping we can finally kick this nasty virus into touch in 2022!

Meanwhile, 2021 proved to be a very challenging year for shippers, but an exceptionally profitable one for ocean carriers and containership owners.

Soaring freight rates – both short-term and contract – along with a dysfunctional and, at times, broken supply chain heaped more misery onto the shipper community over the past year.

Following the Chinese New Year in mid-February, there was a brief glimmer of hope that rates had peaked and carriers were beginning to regain some semblance of schedule reliability – but then along came the hapless Ever Given, attempting a three-point turn in the Suez Canal and blocking the waterway for a week in March.

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