Asia Container Crisis Getting Worse Not Better
The situation facing importers from Asia has continued to worsen over recent weeks and looks set to continue until Chinese New Year in February.
Major issues with container equipment, space and vessels avoiding the UK altogether, are making it incredibly difficult to obtain any bookings at the moment and in some cases rates have moved to over USD10,000 (per 40ft container) for the first time.
Some shipping lines have even suspended taking bookings for all destinations in Europe until late January, as further blanked (cancelled) sailings have been announced.
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The meltdown of the UK’s container ports – caused by high peak season volumes and coronavirus measures – has led to carriers deciding to omit UK ports on many vessel schedules during December and January.
With the reduced capacity to the UK and severe equipment shortages – where China’s South is currently the most affected – carriers are having major difficulties fulfilling most bookings.
Even for those fortunate enough to obtain bookings, we are still witnessing critical UK port and container transport congestion and delays, and many importers have had their products diverted to European ports. Thousands of containers will be stranded in Europe for up to four weeks, that were originally on vessels en-route to the UK for Christmas sales.
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