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Serious delays, shipping companies’ schedules are disrupted, European exporters to China worry about space

Jim Sunny Worldwide Logistics 2021-10-26 16:19:02
It is reported that due to serious berthing delays, shipping companies skipped a large number of calls at European container ports, chose to unload at the next available port, and transfer imported goods to the original destination by land.

However, this also means that the exported goods that have not been on the scheduled voyage at the skipped port will be left in the port, waiting for the next available ship, which may cause the export of these goods to be delayed for several weeks.

In addition, even if the ship makes a scheduled call, the shipping company will give priority to shipping empty containers back to Asia instead of export containers loaded with cargo. A British freight forwarding company described this situation as "an ever-increasing nightmare."

"Just this week, I had a batch of export cargo, and the shipping company loaded it at 8 in the morning. But in the morning we received a late notice, saying that the expected arrival time due to congestion had yet to be notified. We tried to call the shipping company several times. But they couldn't be reached, and the e-mail was not answered."

The freight forwarder said he had to wait until the next day to get a reply and rebook the next ship with space. "All in all, it's a headache." The freight forwarder said.
According to reports, frustrated European exporters to China are "snatching up" the space of a container ship that will start a temporary Europe-China voyage next weekend.

The 3534teu "Guenther Schulte" container ship is operated by Dubai-based CargoGulf. The ship is on its way to Northern Europe and is fully loaded with exports from Asia. This is the second temporary voyage performed by the ship, but during this voyage, CargoGulf is preparing to open up the return market and export the cargo stranded in the Nordic hub ports.

The additional load ships and temporary voyages on the Asia-Northern Europe trade route are mainly concentrated in the lucrative maiden voyage market-the freight rate per 40 feet may be as high as 18,000 US dollars, and the additional income from full load will be enough to compensate for the additional chartering. Fees and port charges.

CargoGulf announced yesterday the schedule of the Guenther Schulte container ship Europe-China direct service: Southampton Port (October 29)-Gothenburg Port and Aarhus Port (November 1)-Rotterdam Port (November 3 Day)-Port of Hamburg (November 5th)-Qingdao (December 8th)-Shanghai (December 13th)-Ningbo (December 14th).

So far, the operator has not indicated whether it intends to further travel between China and Northern Europe.

However, CargoGulf chartered the ship in February this year at a price of USD 23,000 per day for a 15-month charter period. This price is very favorable compared to the current average price of USD 40,000 to USD 50,000 in the current leasing market. Therefore, if freight prices continue to remain high and demand remains strong, this shipping company seems to have no reason not to continue its temporary routes or even upgrade to liner routes.

According to a British agent, the number of bookings for the Nordic route is better than expected, and shippers are snapping up bookings for ships to China due to disrupted shipping schedules.

▎Continuing congestion in the Great British Port, shipping companies jumped into the port

The Port of Felixstowe handles 40% of Britain’s imported containerized cargo, but the port’s efficiency has dropped significantly in the past 24 months. Data from Vesselsvalue shows that since the beginning of this month, the Port of Felixstowe has received 31 container ships with a total capacity of 281,408 teu, a decrease of 45% compared to the same period last year and a decrease of 51% compared to the same period in 2019.

The company’s chief analyst Charlotte Cook said: “Due to the accumulation of containers in the port, it takes longer than usual for ships to unload and set sail at the port, which leads to interruption of the shipping schedule and further reduces the availability of ships.”

Some shipping companies have begun to transfer their ships from Felixstowe Port to prevent delays in the port, Maersk is one of them.

Maersk stated that taking into account the continued congestion at the Port of Felixstowe and the resulting delays in berthing, it will temporarily transfer the waiting ships to other ports, and then use smaller ships to transport the cargo to the intended destination, and said Hope to minimize the delays currently experienced by customers.