Three men standing in a warehouse managing ending inventory counts

As the Federal Reserve and the U.S. economy see positive developments with inflation, new concerns arise in the global supply chain with increasing freight rates. Forecasts suggest ocean cargo prices could surge to $20,000 and potentially reach the COVID-era peak of $30,000, maintaining high levels into 2025. Spot ocean freight rates from the Far East to the U.S. have jumped 36%-41% month over month, driven by a lack of containers and limited vessel capacity. The situation is exacerbated by port congestion and extended dwell times, particularly at key China and Southeast Asia ports, with some vessels waiting up to seven days to dock. Additionally, the increase in shipping costs and delays poses a significant challenge for companies relying on ocean freight, leading to a potential spike in consumer prices for goods like electronics. This comes as air freight rates also rise due to increased demand and ocean freight disruptions, further complicating the global supply chain landscape.