British retail giant John Lewis would like to be seen as having taken shipping matters into its own hands.

"We're chartering a fleet of extra ships alongside a number of other businesses to ensure that we have plenty of stock for our customers this Christmas," a spokesperson told TradeWinds.

In the UK — where the retailer is synonymous with the festive period through its Christmas adverts — such exceptional measures might appear fitting.

But scratch below the surface, and the influence that even John Lewis has on the containership charter market remains limited.