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Empty shipping containers pile up despite global shortage and ‘ghost ship’ runs

Shipping chaos is escalating with empty shipping containers piling up at depots and “ghost ships” being sent in to fetch them.

The fourth largest container shipping line in the world, ​CMA CGM, is refusing to take any more empty containers at its Auckland depot because it has too many of them there. Instead, the company is asking importers and others to return their containers to Northport or Tauranga.

Another container shipping line, ​Mediterranean Shipping Company, the second-largest in the world, is charging customers a hefty fee for returning empty containers to the Auckland depots they were originally destined for.

Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders federation president ​Chris Edwards says relationships between shipping companies and other players in the supply chain are breaking down as the former start laying on fees.

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