Could Port Exclusions Be On The Way?
A recent report indicates that schedule rationalisation and port exclusions could be on their way to ease Asia-Europe space issues.
The survey report found that port congestion has led to the average round trip, for vessels travelling from Asia to Northern Europe and back, taking almost 2 months longer than it used to.
The report also identified that some carriers from the Ocean Alliance, that had previously reduced the number of ports on their routes, were only averaging delays of around a week on the Westbound voyage.
It is widely believed that the rationalising of schedules and port omissions is currently being considered as a means of returning ships to Asia faster and therefore increasing capacity on the trade.
Maersk recently confirmed that, due to Felixstowe port congestion, their larger ships would not be calling at the UK port in the coming weeks. Instead, they will be discharging in Europe, before transferring containers to the UK using smaller feeder vessels.
However, from a UK perspective, it is essential that UK ports are still served directly, as last year saw many containers stranded in European ports for up to six weeks.
Meanwhile, congestion in Felixstowe has led to further issues with the restitution of empty containers. From 7am this morning, we are once again advised that Maersk and Evergreen containers cannot be returned to the port.
As always, the Atlantic Pacific team are monitoring the situation closely. If you require further information, or are concerned about current shipments, then please do not hesitate to contact one of the team.