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There are almost twice as many ships detained outside ports worldwide as there were at the beginning of the year

According to data from Kuehne + Nagel, one of the largest freight forwards operators in the world, on October 15 there were 584 ships detained outside ports worldwide, i.e. almost twice as many ships as at the beginning of the year. The most severe situation is in southern China.

The nearly 100 ships that are waiting to dock in the ports of Hong Kong and Shenzhen are just the latest sign of the problems that have hit global supply chains, raised consumer prices in Europe and the United States, and have caused a shortage of goods. The maritime congestion there's been since the pandemic began was made worse by the passage of typhoon Kompasu, which forced operators to close the region's ports for two days.

When ships arrive late at their destinations, cargo operations and delivery times are out of sequence, this disruption causes a ripple effect that affects cargo, truck, and warehouse services.

Problems in supply chains are reflected in an increase in shipping costs: the global average shipping price of a 40-foot container is now close to $ 10,000, i.e. three times higher than in early 2021 and almost ten times higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to Freightos.

Congestion in Europe
Wait times at ports have also increased due to the increased demand for consumer products, COVID-19-induced disruption in container ship schedules, and the shortages of dockworkers and truck drivers.

In Europe, the ships outside of Hamburg and Antwerp have long waiting times. There can even be major disruptions when the ships don't have to wait days at sea. A shortage of truck drivers or an obstruction of inland waterways interiors, for example, slowed down the movement of cargo in the port of Felixstowe in the UK and in the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

West Coast of USA
The number of ships waiting at sea on the west coast of the United States has fallen from a record 76 in September to 57 now. However, the ships can take up to twelve days to anchor and unload their containers due to the shortage of dockworkers and truckers, which delays the delivery of all kinds of goods, from slippers to tropical fruits.

The problem is so severe that US President Joe Biden has been pressuring rail carriers, trucking groups, and ports to increase their capacity.



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