The new strain of Covid-19 will add to the array of pandemic-related factors that have fuelled the 18-month container shipping boom, analysts believe.

Container freight rates held firm this week amid expectations that the impact of the pandemic will delay any fall in freight rates or easing of port congestion.

“High rates and congestion are ultimately results of the consumer spending shift from services to goods that began early in the pandemic,” said Freightos analyst Judah Levine.