Ocean cost has been increase four times for shipment from Asian/European to West coast of USA since last March(2020). Except for the reduced vessel from COVID-19, shortage of container has been a key obstacle to move the products across the ocean.
Freight cost has increase more than 15% to the contribution of products` final cost on average It is not surprised to ship a 40' container with more than $8000+(only ocean freight cost) that could be done at less than $5000 for to -door service before COVID-19.
Shippers in European and Asian have to pay additional fee to get containers in additional normal transportation cost (local trucking). And most shippers have been passing those cost to customers
Commodity has normally shipped on ocean due to the cost effectiveness. However, since last March, higher transportation cost and longer lead time to find the container add drastic addition to the final cost of the metal, coffee and sugar traveling around the world.
MSK line is aiming to run the container with biofuel in two years. It is working on a system called dual-propulsion system which can handle different form of propulsion and run on conversional bunker fuel and natural gas.
The new ship will be small vessel running on biomethanol...
MSK is not the only carrier in industry to proceed the "green fuel". ONE (Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd) also tried a shipment across the Atlantic this month that applied a mixture of cooking oil and bunker fuel.
It is a trend today for carrier to go "green" but still challenging to power the large vessel with non-traditional energy to work with bigger engine.
Currently, each vessel can hold more than 20,000 containers and travel thousands of miles.
As the unemployment rate in US is embracing lowest since 2008, 3.7%, logistics industry also contributed almost 10% increase in hiring in 2018 (original source). In last month, 24,800 job was added through warehousing and transportation. The booming of e-commerce contributes to the surge, it is not excluded that the recent tariffs push the additional shipments from oversea in fear of pending additional tariffs in 2019.