However, container imports still remain at peak volumes, and spot ocean rates are still rising. Inventory-to-sales ratios remain stubbornly low — so low that it now looks inconceivable that they can revert to normal this year. Read the full report at Freightwaves.
A widely held theory on pandemic spending is that container imports surged because Americans bought a lot more goods when COVID prevented them from buying services. Now it is forecasted that with more vaccinations and fewer hospitalizations, Americans will resume spending on services and consequently have less to spend on goods. Thus, the pandemic-induced driver of import demand will wane, spot rates will fall, and the market will return to some semblance of normality.