Shipping costs and inflation

Yan Carrière-Swallow is a Senior Economist in the Asia and Pacific Department (Photo: Weijia Yao)

IMF Podcasts

By Yan Carrière-Swallow

Most of the goods we purchase travel across the oceans in steel containers aboard the largest ships ever to sail the seas. But the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns knocked the wind from their sails and disrupted the entire global shipping network, causing supply shortages and soaring shipping costs.

IMF economist Yan Carrière-Swallow has studied the macroeconomic impact of shocks to ocean freight, and in this podcast, he says shipping costs are an important driver of inflation around the world.

Yan Carrière-Swallow is coauthor along with Pragyan Deb, Davide Furceri, Daniel Jimenez and Jonathan Ostry, of Shipping Costs and Inflation available at

Listen to the podcast

Read the transcript


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