According to multiple media sources, increased cargo throughput at the ports of northern Europe is resulting in substantial congestion. Delays of over 70 hours on arrival are reportedly beng experienced at the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp, Belgium and Hamburg. In fact, according to Hamburg port officials, delays of 70 hours or more have become "typical" for container ships throughout the region, especially with larger vessels carrying 6,000 to 7,000 TEU.
“You can imagine that, for example, export containers booked on a container vessel arrive in time in the port and then they are parked on a container terminal waiting for the delayed vessel some days,” a Hamburg port spokesperson told the Journal of Commerce. “This brings stowage problems to container terminals. These terminals are specialized in just receiving boxes and loading them onto ships or ― in case of import boxes ― on rail or truck and barges for transport. Container terminals are not designed as big parking places for boxes.”
Hamburg has handled a port-record 4.8 million TEU during the first half of 2014, including 244 container ships with capacities of 10,000 TEU or more, a 27.1% increase from the same period in 2013. In general, total volume from Asia to North Europe was reportedly up 8% from January through June. In addition to difficulties handling mega-ships, construction projects in Hamburg have delayed traffic in and out of the port, inspiring officials to unveil a new high-tech system designed to improve congestion caused by local truck traffic.
SPARX logistics will conitnue to monitor this situation and keep our customers apprised of the latest developments. If you have questions or concerns related to specific shipments, please contact your SPARX representative.