AmericasContainersPorts and Logistics

Home Depot charters in ship to battle supply chain pitfalls

The enormous strains felt by retailers in the US, struggling to get stock on their shelves, has taken an extraordinary turn with one of the biggest names on the American high street deciding to take matters into its own hands.

Home Depot, the largest home improvement retailer in the US, has chartered in a boxship to move its own goods.

“We have a ship that’s solely going to be ours and it’s just going to go back and forth with 100% dedicated to Home Depot,” chief operating officer Ted Decker told CNBC. The charter starts from next month.

Home Depot is the third largest US importer by volume of containers, according to data from the Journal of Commerce, behind Walmart and Target.

Retailers have had to contend with extreme demand, high freight costs and plenty of logistical shortages brought about by Covid-19 this year. What’s more the peak season is about to kick into gear in America. The National Retail Federation last week boosted its outlook for the year, saying it anticipates “the fastest growth that we’ve seen in this country since 1984.”

Retail sales across the US are expected to grow between 10.5% and 13.5% to an estimated total of $4.44trn to $4.56trn in 2021. That compares with $4.02trn in total retail sales in 2020 and $3.76trn in 2019.

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.


    1. Agreed. Article was very disappointing and brings to light how much of the products Home Depot sells is made overseas.

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