The current container shortage is not just affecting Asia ports, but inland exporters in the US and in a number of European countries as well.
US Federal Maritime Commission chairman Michael Khouri highlighted the issue of shipping lines not supplying containers to agricultural exporters inland in the US: “Some ocean carriers –not all– have stated that they will no longer deploy –that is– reposition empty containers to the US interior agricultural areas. Instead, they are expediting empties back to Asia. This abandonment of a significant US export industry –the American agricultural industry– is shutting them out of global markets.”
The FMC is looking at possible actions it could take. “We are looking into all potential – I repeat – all potential responsive actions, including a review of whether such ocean carriers’ actions are in full compliance with the Shipping Act and more specifically the various “Prohibited Acts” sections of the Act,” said Chairman Khouri.
Meanwhile in Hapag-Lloyd has stopped accepting 40-foot reefer container booking for empty pick-up from depots in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and Czech Republic until the end of the year. In Hamburg it has also stopped container booking for empty pick-up for 40-foot GP units till the end of the year.
Photo source: Adrian Gilfillan | Dreamstime.com