When shipping containers are abandoned because of delays in the supply chain, the contents can deteriorate and lose value.
When that happens, customers sometimes refuse to accept the goods. Shipping lines can then contact a salvage company to recover as much value from it as they can.
Salvage companies can acquire containers filled with abandoned goods the shipping lines want to get rid of. Business is booming because snarls in the global supply chain have left an estimated 3 million containers idling on ships queued up at ports.
Shipping freight rates have more than doubled since April, and containers are in short supply around the world, so sea freight lines are eager to get them back into circulation as quickly as possible.