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Port congestion gaining momentum globally


More than 300 liners are waiting for berth space globally according to a report on Splash247. Data published today by Seaexplorer, a container shipping platform created by logistics giant Kuehne+Nagel, shows the global carrier snarl-up with supply chains is under enormous stress.

From Shekou to Seattle, Amsterdam to Auckland, containerships are backing up like never before in the 65-year history of the industry as the liner industry grapples with the enormous strain brought by Covid-19 and exceptional consumer behaviour noted the Splash article.

The map supplied by Seaexplorer clearly shows the global phenomenon of liner congestion in 2021. Red dots represent clusters of ships while orange ones mark out ports that are congested or suffering from disrupting operations.

Commenting via LinkedIn, Otto Schacht, executive vice president for sea logistics at Kuehne + Nagel, noted: “Shippers better increase inventories, supply chains are too tight, just in time does not work in these times, consumer demand will remain strong.”

In terms of capacity this is highly likely to be severely skewed towards larger vessels waiting in line and therefore even more in capacity terms,” commented Lars Jensen, CEO of the Danish liner consultancy, Vespucci Maritime.

A virus outbreak at Yantian in Shenzhen has already inflated spot freight rates globally, with Drewry’s World Container Index increasing 10% in the past three weeks, said Simon Heaney, senior manager of container research at Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd.

It feels inevitable that rates will climb higher as we head into the third-quarter peak season,” he said. “Both importers and exporters will suffer if delays and waiting times extend.”

It is very clearly a global problem as the map shows, and as such is going to take time to be resolved,” Heaney added, suggesting that there are “big philosophical questions” about the industry and its customers need to address about how to best avoid a repeat of this calamitous scenario. Photo: Port of Long Beach