A lack of ships and record rates to move autos and industrial machines across the globe are among the latest issues to plague the automotive industry.
Automakers now can expect to pay up five times more, an estimated $740 a vehicle, for a 60-day voyage to move inventory overseas, according to Bloomberg calculations based on Clarkson data. Each vessel holds up to 6,500 vehicles at a time.
A shipping surge as the globe emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic has some automakers worried about securing ship capacity, Georg Whist, CEO of Gram Car Carriers ASA, told Automotive News.
“People are concerned they can’t get hold of tonnage,” he said. “It’s underinvestment for many years, and when demand is still there, the day comes when it pops.”
Specialist carriers known as roll-on, roll-off ships carry vehicles across the ocean. Most imported vehicles go to the U.S., Europe and the UK, while a growing number of exports come from China.
Gram Car Carriers recently announced a five-year deal to hire out one of its vessels to move vehicles at an average rate of $60,000 a day.
Auto carriers, Hoegh Autoliners ASA and Wallenius Wilhelmsen ASA, have also increased their rates recently.