Container-shipping announce ‘shipageddon’
28 October 2020

Long waiting times for carriers and barges in the port of Rotterdam are increasing disproportionately, while the ship capacity is also scarce at the moment. The whole container-shipping cycle is at absolutely full pelt.

The world’s largest ships of 24,000 TEU enter the Port of Rotterdam, while smaller container and barge vessels also continue to arrive and depart. The coronacrisis has created an incredible wave of change in container shipping. From the start, operations had to be shut down, containers had to be moved to the right place and shipping companies had to find out what customers needed; when and where.

In the run-up to the holidays, logistical chaos is expected and even a ‘shipageddon’ has been announced, a name given to sold out container slots. Container ships between Asia and the US seem to be fully booked, which has a direct impact on Asia-Europe traffic. Stocks are running out and at the same time containers can no longer be built. The space shortage has reached a historical point.

In doing so, the busy traffic at the terminals continues. Waiting times for barges are increasing to seven days and road transporters are struggling with a lack of free slots, causing the terminal parking to become overcrowded. A better balance and planning must be created in order to handle the increasing number of containers. For the moment, terminals are still experiencing capacity shortages, system failures and staff shortages due to the coronavirus. Drivers with an allocated time slot are still waiting for hours to load.

In the time that a shipment remains standing because it cannot be handled on time, the (often high) costs for container, dock rental and/or storage rapidly increase. Despite the fact that this is a case of force majeure, these incurred costs in the Port of Destination are always for the shipper’s account.

Transferring cargo by rail or air is a good alternative to avoid congestion in the port of Rotterdam. At the same time, you will benefit from advantages such as speed, because after all, the sea trip takes weeks.

Our sales specialists will be happy to assist in finding the right way for you. For more information about your sea freight shipment or request by plane/train, please contact one of our sales advisors.