From the docks of Southern California and Europe to the parcel hubs in the Midwest and the store shelves in New York, signs are growing that the global supply-chain crisis is over. The Covid-19 pandemic that spawned product shortages, shipping bottlenecks and soaring transport costs may not be gone, but the WSJ’s Esther Fung, Costas Paris and Sharon Terlep report goods are moving around the world again, reaching companies and consumers.
Despite widespread government and industry attempts to unwind the bottlenecks, the real break may have come in the demand slowdown that has eased the pressure on strained operations. U.S. container imports reached their lowest level in November since early 2020, and shipping heavyweight Maersk Line projects demand will decline next year from 2% to 4%. Freight rates that busted shipper budgets last year are sliding and broader costs for suppliers heading into 2023 are also retreating.