New report says the cost of transporting goods has skyrocketed

Amanda Peacher Dec 7, 2021
Heard on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Container ships outside the Port of Long Beach in California. David McNew/Getty Images

New report says the cost of transporting goods has skyrocketed

Amanda Peacher Dec 7, 2021
Heard on:
Container ships outside the Port of Long Beach in California. David McNew/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The latest report from the Logistics Managers Index is out today. It’s a monthly survey that measures, among other things, transportation costs. And it shows that in November, the cost of shipping freight is “astronomical”– those are words from the report’s authors.

There are enough ships and trucks and containers to move goods around the world, said Paul Bingham, transportation economist at IHS Markit. 

But, they’re not always moving. 

“It’s a vessel sitting at anchor waiting to get into a port, or a truck driver sitting in his truck waiting for several hours to get loaded,” he said.

Bingham said those kinds of inefficiencies are driving up demand and transportation prices right now, along with rising wages and fuel costs. 

Dale Rogers is a professor of logistics and supply chain management at Arizona State University, and one of the authors of the report. He said a couple of years ago it cost maybe $1,000 to $2,000 to ship a container from China to L.A. 

“Today, that same trip is $18,000 to $20,000 a container,” he said, adding that higher sticker prices on everything from appliances to new cars these days in part reflect the cost of getting products from A to B. 

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.