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Will coronavirus hike rates for backhaul US-to-Asia cargoes?

One of the myriad coronavirus-related concerns is that container-shipping services on the backhaul routes to Asia could be impaired. With Chinese factories still largely shut down and land transportation to ports constrained, the volume of containerized cargo flowing on the two main headhaul routes — China-U.S. and China-Europe — will decrease. Or rather, it will not pick back up as previously expected following Chinese New Year. Container lines are blanking (canceling) sailings of various vessels that had been scheduled to serve these routes, to better align fronthaul shipping capacity with actual volumes. The consequence of this is that there will be fewer ships serving backhaul runs from the U.S. to Asia and from Europe to Asia.

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