Shipping line operators enjoyed record-high freight rates over much of the last year as COVID-19 caused unprecedented supply-chain disruption, and consumer goods demand caused overwhelming container ship congestion at ports worldwide.

But this 18-month era of rates gone wild has come quietly to an end as port congestion clears up and consumer demand wanes amid high inflation, Lars Jensen chief executive at leading shipping markets analyst Vespucci Maritime said.

“All in all, the underlying structural data in the market clearly support the notion that there is no longer a global physical shortage of vessel capacity, and as such, there is no support for the historically high rates," Jensen said.