Record Shipping Costs Add to Automotive Supply Chain Woes

The auto industry, already grappling with a global shortage of microchips, is now seeing another source of supply-chain concern: a lack of ships, according to an Automotive News report.

Earnings for freighters that move autos and industrial machines across the globe have surged to about $80,000 a day, the highest in data since at least 2000, according to Clarkson Research Services Ltd. a unit of the world’s largest shipbroker.

That represents another small headwind — seaborne trade in cars is a fraction of overall activity — for the industry. The likes of Ford Motor Co. and General Motors already painted a gloomy outlook in recent months, driven primarily by semi-conductor shortages impeding production.

But a stagnating vessel fleet alongside a steady recovery in demand since the nadir of Covid-19 has now spurred record rates for ships that carry as many as 6,500 cars across the globe. Over a 60-day voyage that would imply about $740 per car, up about fivefold since before the pandemic, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Clarkson data.

Read the full Automotive News report.