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Port Risk Warning! Be sure to pay attention to delays in recent shipments!

2024-06-18 09:22

Recently, due to the strong demand in the container market and the chaos caused by the Red Sea crisis, there are signs of further congestion in global ports, according to a weekly report released by shipping consulting firm Linerlytica on June 3, the global container capacity waiting to enter the port rose to 2.1 million TEUs, accounting for 7.1% of the total global container capacity.

In addition, a number of major ports in Europe and the United States are facing the threat of strikes, adding fuel to the already chaotic global shipping fire.
Foreign traders who ship to the following ports must pay attention to the local port risks and remind customers to pay attention in time!

The Port of Singapore is congested

The Port of Singapore is the world's second-largest container port and a major transshipment hub in Asia, and the port congestion is critical to global trade. There was a surge in the number of containers waiting to berth in Singapore in May, with the highest number of containers waiting to berth reaching 480,600 20-foot TEUs at the peak in late May.
      PSA has reopened the old berths and yards of the abandoned Keppel Terminal to alleviate congestion, while also adding significant manpower to cope with the container backlog.However, according to a recent report by Linerlytica, an Asian container consultancy, container ships may currently have to wait up to about seven days to secure berths in Singapore, compared to half a day under normal circumstances.
      According to a recent report by Linerlytica, this has caused some shippers to abandon Singapore and move to other neighbouring ports such as Malaysia, putting more pressure on already congested and low-capacity ports, which could worsen the situation in the coming month.

The Port of Durban is congested

The Port of Durban is the largest container port in South Africa, but according to the 2023 Container Port Performance Index (CPPI) released by the World Bank, the Port of Durban ranks 398th out of 405 container ports in the world.
      Durban Port congestion is rooted in extreme weather and a failure of the port operator's Transnet equipment, resulting in more than 90 ships waiting outside the port. Congestion is expected to continue for months, with shipping giants imposing congestion surcharges on South African importers due to equipment maintenance and lack of available equipment, further exacerbating economic pressures.

The Port of Colombo is congested

The Port of Colombo has a backlog of 50,000 TEUs due to labor shortages and reduced efficiency, which has led to schedule delays and rate increases, causing disruption in the transshipment of cargo at an important transshipment port in South Asia. Freight rates in Colombo have doubled due to congestion and delays, and shippers need to book a slot eight weeks in advance.
      The congestion at the Port of Colombo has affected not only itself, but also its neighbors, India and Bangladesh.

Strikes at all major ports in France

On June 10, it was reported that all major ports in France, especially the container hub ports of Le Havre and Marseille-Foss, will face the threat of a month-long strike in the near future, which is expected to lead to serious operational chaos and disruption.

The strike, by unions representing dockers and other port workers, is scheduled to hold several one-day strikes in June and several four-hour lockouts to protest the government's pension reform to raise the statutory retirement age.

On 7 June, last Friday, the first 24-hour strike broke out. The union plans to continue the strike action in the coming weeks, which could be extended into July if the union fails to receive a satisfactory response from the government.

It is reported that during the first strike, in the port of Le Havre, ro-ro ships, bulk carriers and container terminals were blocked by dockworkers, resulting in the cancellation of the docking of four ships and the delay of another 18 ships. Meanwhile, in Marseille-Fosse, about 600 dock workers and other port workers blocked the main entrance to the container terminal for trucks. In addition, the French ports of Dunkirk, Rouen, Bordeaux and Nantes Saint-Nazaire have also been affected.


       Strike in the Port of Hamburg

On June 7, local time, port workers at the Port of Hamburg, Germany, launched a warning strike, resulting in the suspension of terminal operations. As a result, terminals at companies such as Hamburg Port and Logistics (HHLA) and Eurogate have been affected. HHLA said its Hamburg affiliates will join the strike, including the Burchardkai (CTB), Altenwerder (CTA) and Tollerort (CTT) container terminals.

Freight forwarding giant Kuehne+Nagel issued an early warning on its official website, saying that following the strike at the Port of Hamburg, the union Verdi also announced two more strikes in Bremen and Bremerhaven.

Threat of strikes at ports in the East and Gulf of Mexico

In the latest news, the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) may trigger a strike of dockers in the eastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico due to concerns about the use of automatic door systems at APM terminals. ILA is the largest dockers' union in the United States.

The port standoff on the East Coast of the United States is the same as it happened on the West Coast for much of 2022 and 2023. In June last year, 29 ports on the US West Coast finally reached a six-year labor contract agreement, ending a 13-month period of tense negotiations, strikes and cargo relocation to other locations.

At present, European and American retailers have started to replenish inventory in advance to cope with transportation delays and supply chain uncertainties. Foreign traders who are busy with shipments must pay attention to the changes in freight rates and shipping space!

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