Washington farm exports hampered by cargo-container shortage

SEATTLE (AP) — Farm exporters in Washington state have been left with stockpiles of product and idle trucks as the pandemic has created a shortage of cargo containers. The Seattle Times reported that the shortage is the latest problem the pandemic has caused the global trade system. Americans’ spending with online retailers has resulted in a surge of imports from Asia. Shipping companies are now quickly sending empty containers back to Asia to accommodate the surge rather than refilling them with American farm products. Economists expect the capacity shortages to decline as consumers return to normal purchasing patterns. But many exporters are concerned permanent damage has been done.