Many consumer products that are part of our every day life are manufactured in Asia. They are shipped to the U.S. in containers stacked on ocean going ships. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit a backlog of consumer products developed at Asian ports. Bruce Burkartzmeyer co-owner of Burkartzmeyer Shoes said one of their suppliers said it used to cost around $5,000 to ship a container to the U.S. Now is can be up to $25,000 for the same container being shipped to the same port! Plus, it is difficult to ship products from the U.S. to other countries in containers.

That does not make any sense! All those empty containers at a U.S. port. Why can they not be filled with U.S. products and shipped back to Asia? Keith Schroder is a corn and soybean farmer from Nerstrand and past President of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. Currently he serves on the Specialty and Grains Alliance (SSGA) Board of Directors. The SSGA's mission is to develop markets and transportation for specialty soybean products overseas.

The specialty soybean products are transported overseas in containers. Keith explained that shipping companies would rather ship empty containers from U.S. ports back to China empty rather than loaded with U.S. soybean or other products. If they are loaded it takes more time to get them to their destination, unloaded and then moved to China. Apparently shipping companies can make more money transporting China products so they want the containers back to China ASAP?

Keith did say that eventually this backlog of products waiting for contain shipping will work itself out but it will take time. Until then get ready to wait for products and pay more for them. Click on the link and listen to Keith Schrader talk about international shipping issues.

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