Vessel diversions eased congestion at the UK’s container port hubs this week, but much of the cargo discharged at Rotterdam, Antwerp and Zeebrugge will struggle to reach vital Christmas markets.
Ocean carriers have skipped a number of UK calls in the past few weeks, obliged to “cut and run” due to slow working on ships that did get alongside,.
“I don’t know what’s worse,” said a forwarder at Felixstowe, “having our boxes stranded in Antwerp or having randomly split shipments that customers reject.
“It’s a total mess and I fully understand the angry reaction from importers.
“It is so difficult for us to explain to a customer that only four of ten containers came off a ship and we cannot confirm when the balance of the shipment will arrive in the UK,” he added.