Container shortages, vessel cancellations and a new congestion problem at Yantian Port are further impacting the supply chain from Asia. Here is a summary of this week’s main industry news.
Yantian International Container Terminal Closes
A number of Covid-19 cases have been reported at Yantian Port, Shenzhen this week resulting in the suspension of some operations. Disinfection and quarantine measures are being implemented to prevent Covid-19 from spreading. This is resulting in increasingly serious delays in vessel schedules into and out of the port. We expect to see vessel delays of 4-5 days and terminal congestion in the coming weeks. There is also the potential for ships to bypass the port in order to avoid the potential threat of infection. We will update customers of further developments as and when they happen.
Acute Container Shortages Continue
Equipment shortages at Asian ports remain an industry-wide challenge. We are still seeing the return of empty containers to Asia, being prioritised over European export cargo. The knock-on effect for Mediterranean markets remains with a lack of empty containers at European ports, such as Turkey. The resulting spike in demand for trucking of cargo within Europe, from ports in Turkey continues, keeping prices high.
Port Congestion at Origin Still a Concern
Congestion in ports at origin continues to be a challenge, in particular the port of Chittagong in Bangladesh where the severity of congestion means that vessels are waiting for a number of days to berth. The port of Colombo in Sri Lanka is still experiencing congestion which is creating delays across other markets in the region such as India and Pakistan.
Blank Sailings Kicking In
We reported last week that a series of blank sailings has been confirmed by carriers in an effort to restore schedule reliability. The cancellations are expected to effect sailings for the end of May, June and July.
Despite these challenges we would like to reassure our customers that we are working to limit the impact as much as possible. We will keep you updated of further developments as and when they happen. We would like to thank customers for their understanding at this challenging time.