Best of times sure beats worst of times

The first quarter of 2021 was the best of times for the world’s ocean container shipping lines. Year-over-year comparisons of course are basically meaningless. Q1 2020 was the worst of times for much of the world as COVID-19 spread. 

Still, in “normal” times, the ocean carriers see a slowdown in the first three months of a calendar year. The peak shipping season for the December holidays has passed. Asian factories have taken a break for Chinese New Year. Not so in 2021. Consumer demand for...

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