Lack Of Ships Has Caused Seaborne Trade Costs To Quintiple For Automakers

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The car industry, already grappling with a shortage of semiconductors, is now seeing another source of supply chain concern: a lack of ships.

Earnings for freighters that move autos and industrial machines across the globe have surged to about $80,000 a day, the highest in data since at least 2000, according to Clarkson Research Services Ltd. a unit of the world’s largest shipbroker.

That represents another small headwind — seaborne trade in cars is a fraction of overall activity — for the industry. The likes of Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. already painted a gloomy outlook in recent months, driven primarily by semiconductor shortages impeding production.

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