Sea Freight Schedule Reliability Challenges

Sea Freight Schedule Reliability Challenges
March 18, 2024 Hannah Marshallsay

The prolonged sea freight transit times resulting from the Red Sea crisis are having ripple effects across supply chains, leading to operational delays in shipments and a decline in schedule reliability.

As we have made customers aware in previous notifications, shipping lines are currently experiencing challenges with transit times due to the ongoing situation in the Red Sea. With no indications of de-escalation in the conflict, all major carriers have now adjusted schedules to fully reflect the Cape of Good Hope routing.

The diversion around the African Continent not only adds an extra two weeks of transit for cargo bound for Europe and the UK but also extends the return leg back to Asia by the same duration. This is causing challenges at origin ports, including container shortages, congestion and increasing pressure on vital hub ports in Asia and Europe, resulting in frequent schedule changes.

Vessels are regularly arriving at ports on unscheduled days, leading to berthing clashes at several ports. Furthermore, we are witnessing several rotation adjustments in Northern Europe. Consequently, all shipping lines are struggling to maintain schedule integrity and reliability compared to advertised transits. The impact of this is evident with the disruption to sea freight schedules and corresponding arrival delays.

Carriers are stating that the Red Sea diversions will be in place until at least Q4 of this year and service adjustments have been made to accommodate this expectation. Shipping lines are now introducing additional capacity to vessel rotations to try to help reduce port omittances and improve their on time reliability.

Our focus remains on constantly monitoring this ever-changing situation and directing efforts toward minimising impacts for our customers. Delays to planned arrival dates are likely to persist. We will continue to share information regularly to ensure you are kept updated and informed.

Should you have any questions or concerns about your shipment, please get in touch with our Customer Service Team on 01376 533039.



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