Motorcycle Prices Shoot Up with Inflation of Shipping Container Costs


Shipping containers behind a beautiful motorcycle, symbolic of the shipping container inflation rates present in today's post

Remember the chaos we covered on upcoming magnesium shortages and our subsequent dive into why we are still experiencing chip shortages despite raging sales figures in the chip industry?

Well, we’ve just had word that motorcycle manufacturers need to increase their bike prices on top of everything else – and it’s the shipping that’s the problem. 

Shipping containers, to be precise.

A motorcyclist rides out of a shipping container

Think about it – when you buy that pocket rocket for your nephew, order a new helmet or even grab a last-minute bits-and-bobs splurge purchase (or seven) off Amazon to trick out your ride, those packages have to go somewhere. 

Anywhere those pretty parcels go, they’re likely to encounter lineups since carriers worldwide have been having delays connected to the explosion of pandemic purchases since 2020. (My partner is still waiting on a snazzy Icon helmet and he ordered the dang thing nearly a year ago).

A worker sits on a scooter near shipping containers at a port in Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, on Monday, June 27, 2016. Bank Of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has said lower interest rates are one of the goals of his policy mix of unprecedented asset purchases and a negative deposit rate, designed ultimately to drive inflation to 2 percent. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

And even though DigitalCommerce360 has found the percentage of online purchases to be on a downtrend (understandable, given that things are opening up more since Q1 and Q2 of 2021), warehouses are as congested as ever trying to deal with the colossal piles of packages. 

A worker sits on a scooter near shipping containers at a port

In fact, RideApart states that companies are literally running out of room – so they’ve turned to shipping containers to house the mail. 

While protective to the goods and a temporary solution to the pandemic’s digital purchase inflation, that decision has caused a spinoff of peeves for motorcycle manufacturers – and anybody else caught up in the crosshairs. 

A ship carrying shipping containers full of motorcycles to happy customers. In reality, this media is a reflection of the current container inflation rates present in today's motorcycle market.

“Due to the surge in global imports, the price of shipping containers has increased tenfold in two years,” admits the report.

“On November 8, 2019, shipping containers cost $1,325. Today, November 8, 2021, the market now values the same 40-foot container at $10,321.”

a motorcycle in a shipping container

That’s an inflation rate increase of 16%, for cargo shipping alone, between 2020 and 2021.

Talk about logistics-related nightmares. 

The report states that motorcycle manufacturers (like Harley-Davidson) are adapting to the change in shipping costs by spiking their bike prices, with many bigger companies placing an extra-hefty €400 ($465 USD) on their bikes just to break even. 

A Harley-Davidson TB 1 superbike in front of a series of shipping containers

Naturally, the freight companies raising the prices of the dang containers are also giving them away to the highest bidder – a move that might put the company on the high end of the deal, but leaves those unable to pay premiums in the back of the line.

A ship carrying shipping containers full of motorcycles to happy customers. In reality, this media is a reflection of the current container inflation rates present in today's motorcycle market.

Standby for more updates on this story – we’re forecasting motorcycle sales figures to be down over the next while, given everything currently congested up the pipeline; in the meantime, be sure to drop a comment below and let us know what you think of this whole business, and as always – stay safe on the twisties.

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