Suez Canal blockade exacerbates container shortage in Asian ports

Most Asian ports are currently facing a container shortage that is expected to worsen as a result of the blockade of the Suez Canal by the grounding of the Ever Given container ship for almost six days. In fact, Maersk has already announced that they expect a 30% reduction in capacity in the coming weeks, as the vessels that were held up on the Canal will delay their return to Asia.

Furthermore, according to estimates, there will be a considerable number of delayed empty containers because the majority of ships sailing from Asia to Europe have a capacity that ranges between 18,000 TEU and 24,000 TEU. As noted by maritime industry analyst Jon Monroe in his weekly report, most Shipping lines will have this problem. In fact, the port call schedules of ships in Asia are already out of sync.

While some industry leaders have stated that the temporary closure that affected the Suez Canal should not lead to an increase in shipping line rates, that is most likely what will happen, Jon Monroe stated. In fact, the fees continue to be intractable.

For example, the route that connects the Chinese port of Yantian with the port of Norfolk in England has a rate of $ 17,000/FEU. According to Monroe, a container can be reserved in the Ever Fit that is departing from Yantian on April 15 for this price. Unfortunately, this is nine days away, so the parties interested have no other option than to get on the waiting list. A container being shipped out on April 28 has the same rate, the analyst stated.

The shipping lines have suggested the beneficial cargo owners (BCO) use their reservation platforms. In them, if you can wait to move the cargo in the same route until May 5, the rate drops substantially to $8,794.36; a real bargain under current circumstances, according to Monroe.

Saturation on the other side of the Pacific
The ports of the west coast of the United States are saturated, with the exception of the ports of the Northwest (Seattle and Tacoma), which nevertheless are affected by delays in rail services, the maritime analyst stated.

Last week, there were 27 container ships waiting at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, 21 at the Port of Oakland, and 7 at the Port of Vancouver. In addition, all of these ports were affected by delays in rail services. "According to several importers and NVOCC I have spoken with, Los Angeles and Long Beach are affected by a rail delay of up to 36 days," the analyst stated.



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