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Shipping Container Shortage Causes Price Spike

Scoular's shipping costs are up about 50% compared to pre-pandemic prices

Shipping containers VIA PIXABAY MAY 2021

Omaha-based Scoular is the nation's third-largest shipper of ag products using containers, a method Chief Executive Paul Maass told KETV the company pioneered about two decades ago.

Scoular's shipping costs are up about 50% compared to pre-pandemic prices, and they're not alone.

"We're seeing freight rates that are double, triple, quadruple in some cases what they were a year ago," Peter Tirschwell, senior content officer at the Journal of Commerce, told KETV.

In Scoular's case, an order of soybeans meant for human consumption is suited perfectly for a shipping container's size. But using a smaller container means the ship is going to carry cargo from other customers.

That's set off a conflict between Asian manufacturers and U.S. ag producers. And the ship operators are following the money.

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