Shipping Costs Surge, Causing Farm and Ranch Supplies Prices to Climb

Problems at ports are magnifying a surge in container shipping costs. And those costs are now showing up as farmers and ranchers source farming supplies.

The issue is multifaceted, with increased cargo volumes and reduced port workforce contributing to a shortage of shipping containers in California.

freight rate

But the price spike isn’t just an issue in North America. The freight rate index shows rates started climbing last summer, but were amplified this winter. As a result, the price of shipping goods from North America to Asia has doubled.

S&P Global Platts Dry Freight Wire paints a similar picture. It shows shipping costs climbed in not just North America, but also South America.


A local supplier of ag products- like silage wrap and net wraps- in Missouri says the added shipping costs on all goods are creating higher prices on a wide range of farm items. 

“We deal with a lot of farm supplies and agriculture, agricultural parts as well,” says Anthony Jones, Jones Twine & Net Wrap, Sheldon, Mo. “It's not just the material cost. Shipping is absolutely outrageous. We're seeing shipping rates, double, triple, even quadruple in some areas.”

Jones says the added costs of materials, combined with the increased cost to ship things, is causing prices to skyrocket.

“It's possibly also going to cause shortages,” says Jones. “So, it's definitely one of those things that if you can be proactive and be able to figure out what you need right now. That's going to be the best decision."

Jones says the price of items made from plastics, like bale wrap, are also seeing climbing prices due to tighter supplies of polymer-based items. 


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