Maersk has provided clients with a global congestion update with shippers warned they must brace for another tough year of bottlenecks and disruption.
“Unfortunately, 2022 has not started off as we had hoped,” Maersk warned, adding: “The pandemic is still going strong and unfortunately, we are seeing new outbreaks impacting our ability to move your cargo. General sickness remains high as key ports in key regions are seeing new COVID-19 peaks.”
Unfortunately, 2022 has not started off as we had hoped
The situation is particularly challenging at several hub ports and gateway terminals. Looking at the most acute pain points in northern Europe, as of yesterday, yard density at Bremerhaven stood at 131%, while ships are having to wait seven to 10 days to berth at Felixstowe in the UK.
In North America, yard density at Prince Rupert in Canada was reported to be at 113% yesterday while delays to berth are commonplace across the west coast with Long Beach standing out as the worst with ships waiting between 38 and 45 days to berth.
In China, Maersk said that vessel calls and departures out of Covid-19-hit Ningbo are running normally, however trucking services around the port remain troubled following a partial lockdown of the city which houses the world’s third largest container port.
Analysts at Sea-Intelligence have also reported an uptick in port congestion in the opening days of 2022.
“All the available data shows that congestion and bottleneck problems are worsening getting into 2022, and there is no indication of improvements as of yet,” Sea-Intelligence warned in its latest weekly report.
“As the situation evolves every day, we are working closely with all respective port authorities and coordinating with all involved parts in the local supply chain to help alleviate the situation. That could include slowing down the sea transit for minimal queuing, opening substitute container depots or moving more cargo via alternative modes,” Maersk stated.