As the world is plagued with varying issues, the global ports have been dealing with worsening congestion.
According to Clarkson’s containership port congestion index that came out last Thursday, 36.2% of the global fleet was at port, which is up from the 31.5% during the pre-pandemic years from 2016 to 2019.
The report also found that congestion on the US east coast is close to record levels.
German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd said that waiting times for berths are running upwards of 19 days in New York/New Jersey, while the line off Savannah is nearing record levels with waiting times in the area of seven to 10 days.
On the west coast, Los Angeles and Long Beach have been improving, but Oakland has been struggling, with wait times at the port anywhere from seven to 27 days.
Also in North America, Canada’s west coast has been impacted mainly as a result of limited rail availability.
Other parts of the globe are also experiencing an increase in wait times. In Europe, the beginning of the summer holidays, various strikes, an increase in COVID-19 cases, and bunching of vessels coming from Asia have impacted the ports.
The ports of Antwerp, Hamburg, Le Havre and Rotterdam have been heavily impacted. In a shipping update, Hapag-Lloyd suggested it would have congestion surcharges at Le Havre and another French port.
“The congestion at Le Havre and Fos-Sur-Mer has reached critical levels. Therefore, a congestion surcharge is coming into effect, applicable for all import and export truck carrier haulage moves, for all container types,” said the shipping company in a statement.
In Asia, the Ningbo, Shenzhen and Hong Kong ports have been dealing with ongoing COVID measures and typhoon season.
Meanwhile in Latin America, ongoing nationwide protests have obstructed port operations in Ecuador. Further north, a cyber attack that took out Costa Rica’s customs systems two months ago, is still causing problems. Mexico is one of the worst hit by the port congestion contagion with a number of ports reported to be suffering yard density of 90%, causing heavy delays.
As the shipping industry is in its peak season, the congestion issues so far haven’t translated into any change in spot rates.