US retailer Costco has said it is chartering three small containerships to combat port congestion and rising freight costs.

The company has also leased "several thousand containers" as part of its drive to bring in goods from Asia to the US and Canada.

This is according to Costco's chief financial officer Richard Galanti, who was speaking on a call with analysts.

Giant companies such as Ikea, Home Depot, Walmart and John Lewis have all claimed to be chartering ships or slots, and buying containers, but brokers have been sceptical.