Businesses are finally getting some relief with supply chain costs. But shoppers probably won’t see any additional savings this holiday season, experts say.
The cost of shipping freight containers across the Pacific Ocean has cooled from record highs hit during the pandemic, when demand for goods manufactured in Asia outstripped supply. At its peak in mid-September 2021, the average rate to secure a container on a ship from Asia to the U.S. West Coast reached $20,586, a 15-fold increase from early January 2020, according to data from Freightos Baltic Index. International Transport Eligible
By contrast, the average price for a freight container Friday was $2,720.
But several factors — including big-box stores grappling with overstocked inventory, preemptive holiday buying, and rising gas and labor costs — are holding retailers back from lowering prices on shelves.
Mike Graziano, a consumer products analyst at the consulting firm RSM, sees an easing ahead.
“This [price drop] is going to help consumers,” he said. “It’s just a matter of when it’s going to help, and it’s going to really depend on the product that’s being sold and the company that’s selling the product.”
Overseas Shipping But for ordinary shoppers in need of relief from soaring inflation, many questions remain.