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After the Great Recession, the cargo shipping industry overestimated how fast the consumer economy would bounce back. It’s been a tough few years, with empty space on many cargo ships that carry furniture, clothes and office supplies — pretty much all the stuff Americans buy in stories. But now, old ships are getting replaced with a fewer number of new, bigger vessels, owned by fewer companies. All that efficiency has freight rates climbing.

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Follow Annie Baxter at @anniebaxter123