Little Sign of Improvement for Port Congestion

17 Feb 2022

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Container shipping analysts around the world have this week been providing updates on the global port congestion picture with shippers told to brace for further hindrances going into Q2.

Asia-based Linerlytica pointed out today that while congestion has eased this week in most parts of Asia, it continues to escalate in North America, with both west and east coast ports reaching new record highs during the past seven days.

“While the media focus is on the reduction in the vessel queue in Los Angeles/Long Beach, the reality is the overall containership queue at US ports remain at a record high. The reduction in LA/LB was the result of vessel diversions to the US East Coast as well as other West Coast ports since October 2021, that has spread the congestion contagion to the other North American ports,” Linerlytica pointed out in a weekly report.

In total, Linerlytica tallies 10% of the global boxship fleet – or 2.53m teu – is tied up in port congestion at present.

....Putting some perspective on the severity of the global port congestion, logistics giant Kuehne+Nagel’s digital platform seaexplorer has developed what it terms as a Global Disruption Indicator, which tallies the cumulative teu waiting time in days based on container vessel capacity in disrupted hot spots. The specific hot spots covered include Los Angeles, Long Beach, Seattle, Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Oakland, New York, Savannah, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Ningbo, Rotterdam and Antwerp.

The teu waiting days (TWD) indicator works whereby, for example, one vessel with a 10,000 teu capacity waiting 12 days equals 120,000 teu waiting days.

As of Monday the total teu waiting time at the hot spot port areas covered by seaexplorer stood at 12.32m days, up from 11.56m in the space of just three weeks. Under normal, pre-pandemic circumstances, the waiting time would be less than 1m teu days.

Finally, data from US platform project44 also forecasts congestion to worsen in the coming weeks.

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