Sealand Europe Market Update (January 2023)

'Port congestion continues to decline in Europe'

Sealand has issued a Market Update statement, saying:

Retailers and businesses have recently been faced with warehouse overstocking issues due to demand not meeting supply and return rates increasing (as reported by Market Scale).

According to Logistics Management, port congestion continues to decline in Europe and we are currently not seeing significant areas of disruption. However, we are currently observing berth waiting times of 3-4 days in Mersin, Turkey, which is having an impact on Sealand Mediterranean services and may result in delays at other ports.

The winter season traditionally brings minor delays on a vessel level due to inclement weather interruptions, which can have a knock-on effect across the network. We will keep customers informed of any port or vessel delays due to conditions via advisories when necessary.
While the situation is currently positive, it is subject to change at short notice. We encourage customers to continue providing realistic forecasts and working closely with us to plan ahead and ultimately protect their supply chain.

In Rotterdam, Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) negotiations are currently taking place. We continue to closely monitor the situation and will keep our customers informed of any developments on our advisory page.

Inland update
According to Eurostat, the volume of goods being produced in Europe continues to decline. As a result, capacity bottlenecks in European truck traffic are diminishing. However, the International Road Transport Union reports that HGV driver shortages remain an issue moving into the new year. Sealand will keep monitoring the situation and take necessary action to keep supply chains moving.

Elsewhere, a new reefer rail option from Spain to United Kingdom adds further capacity to the market. The service initially offers three weekly departures from Valencia to London, ensuring exporters have cold chain products delivered to their final destination in a timely and reliable manner. 

With inventory levels in European warehouses remaining high, the need for intermediate storage for the surplus of goods is increasing. Sealand teams will continue analysing the market situation and make changes in order to minimise any impact on customers.

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