Costco charters three ships

Wholesaler Costco, the fifth largest retailer in the world, has emerged as the latest American brand on the high street to attempt to take shipping matters into its own hands.

Costco has revealed it has chartered in three ships and rented thousands of containers to shift around 20% of its Asian imports over the coming 12 months. The ships range in size from 800 to 1,000 teu in capacity.

Costco joins a host of other big retail brands such as Ikea, Walmart and Home Depot in chartering ships to battle this year’s supply chain crunch.

Freightos data shows China-US end-to-end ocean shipments took an average of 73 days so far in September, 83% longer than in September 2019.

“Durations like those mean that, with the holidays rapidly approaching, goods that don’t ship soon may not make it in time,” Judah Levine, head of research at Freightos, warned last week.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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