2H 2021 Distribution & Logistics M&A Report

As 2021 began, we watched domestic shipping issues with interest as trucking companies scrambled to find drivers and rail played an increasingly important role in moving goods efficiently. Workers, exiled to home offices by the COVID-19 pandemic, found time to order virtually everything online and were frustrated by shipping backlogs. In the second half of 2021, the global, ocean-going shipping industry stole the spotlight as the world began to see the effect of consumer demand from the housebound hoards and built-up demand and retailers struggled to restock shelves and warehouses. The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – the U.S. economy’s most essential shipping connection, accounting for some 40% of the country’s imports – were overwhelmed. By year’s end, ships were backed up two to three weeks waiting to unload. And it wasn’t just California’s ports. Even the world’s biggest port, China’s Shanghai, has been swamped in a rush to export goods worldwide while tangled up in China’s strict COVID-19 regulations and protocols. Total trans-Pacific shipping time nearly doubled including loading and unloading delays…

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