Ripples from Suez closure will flow into every major tradelane
ASIAN shippers should expect a chronic container shortage, extended booking delays and more cargo rollovers at key transshipment hubs, as a result of the Ever Given fallout, reports The Loadstar, UK
07 April 2021 - 19:05
VP global ocean product at Hong Kong's LF Logistics, Peter Sundara, said the week-long Suez blockage aggravated already stretched container supply chains. 'Even though the canal is now open, it's going to have a tremendous ripple effect,' he said.
'It's clear over the next three or four months we're going to see more blank sailings as carriers try to catch up with their schedules.
'When the vessels leaving Suez get into Europe and the US, we're going to see a lot of vessel bunching, which will worsen port congestion. All the critical landside assets, like chassis, trucks, rail and barges, are going to be under extreme pressure too, and that's just imports.'
Indeed, given the congestion in destination markets, Mr Sundara noted, vessels bringing back vitally needed equipment to Asia would be delayed even further.
'We're going to face a chronic shortage of containers in China, South-east Asia and the Indian subcontinent, especially India, since the carriers prioritise China first in terms of container distribution, then Asean and India, etc.'
He said all carriers were revising their sailing schedules which, in some cases, were missing from their websites.
The ripple effects will flow into intra-Asia trades, he said, especially for the mainline carriers that will struggle to reposition equipment. But even regional and niche carriers could be affected by the container shortages - all the trades are connected.'
Likewise, the situation at major transshipment hubs, such as Singapore, is likely to deteriorate, given the port was already suffering with congestion and cargo rollovers, with feeder vessels missing connections.
'It's going to be worse, because all the vessels returning from Europe and the US will be coming and going at the same time,' said Mr Sundara.
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