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Asian empty container shortage may worsen because of Rotterdam jam

Empty containers, crucial for Asian exporters, are getting stuck in the port of Rotterdam as a growing backlog of undelivered goods at Europe’s export hub forces ocean carriers to prioritize shipments of filled boxes.

The Dutch port has faced a mass influx of both goods and empty boxes offloaded from other European maritime operations, shipping experts said. This has coincided with carriers reducing the number of vessel trips from the continent to China after Shanghai authorities locked down the city in March, they said.

“Terminals are allowing shipping carriers only a limited capacity for empty boxes and are focusing on transporting loaded containers,” Kuehne + Nagel International AG, one of Europe’s largest freight forwarders, said in an e-mailed reply to  questions. “Containers are piling up at the terminals, and more and more containers cannot be returned on departures, including those to Asia.”

The port of Rotterdam port didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

All over the world, supply chains have been struggling to recover from China’s Covid Zero policy and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has led to companies shunning the over-land railway that could have otherwise relieved pressure on logjammed ports.

Source: bnnbloomberg.ca


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