The knock-on effects of the blockage of the Suez Canal is likely to impact North Europe supply chains until June.
Container hub ports that used the week-long lull from ship arrival delays to prepare their landside facilities for the box onslaught are now “full to the brim”, according to a carrier source.
Container lines have discharged Asian imports wherever they can to turn ships around in North Europe as quickly as possible and return vessels to Asia, where several weeks of full loads at highly inflated spot rates await.
Moreover, the calls have prioritised the back-loading of as many empties from stacks as possible, often leaving urgent exports on the quay in order to restock cleaned-out carrier depots in China.
In many cases, importers are being advised by their carriers that their delayed cargo has been discharged, but also given the bad news that it’s at the wrong port – and the even worse news that there is no schedule for the relay of their boxes.
One carrier source told The Loadstar there was “a perfect storm” facing the overlanded cargo.
“We don’t have the time or any spare capacity to relay the cargo, there are no open ships on the market and our feeder operators are also full,” he said.
Meanwhile, a feeder operator contact told The Loadstar: “We are battling with long delays versus the planned turnaround times in port, we are way beyond the new normal and it is a catastrophe,” he said.
Source: The Loadstar