Not a very merry Xmas for importers as ships cut and run from UK ports

2020-11-26 12:57:27 International Ports News

Vessel diversions eased congestion at the UK’s container port hubs this week, but much of the cargo discharged at Rotterdam, Antwerp and Zeebrugge will struggle to reach vital Christmas markets.

Ocean carriers “cut and run” due to slow working on ships

Ocean carriers have skipped a number of UK calls in the past few weeks, and been obliged to “cut and run” due to slow working on ships that did get alongside.

“I don’t know what’s worse,” said a forwarder at Felixstowe, “having our boxes stranded in Antwerp or having randomly split shipments that customers reject.

“It’s a total mess and I fully understand the angry reaction from importers.

“It is so difficult for us to explain to a customer that only four of ten containers came off a ship and we cannot confirm when the balance of the shipment will arrive in the UK,” he added.

Some containers have taken twice as long as they should have to arrive in northern Europe after being ‘rolled’ on a quay in China and/or transhipped at a wayport.

One business owner was not optimistic of receiving her consignment of Christmas hampers in time for the festive season

One business owner and Loadstar reader said last week the situation was “beyond a joke”, adding she was not optimistic of receiving her consignment of Christmas hampers in time for the festive season. “Gated in at Qingdao on 14 September, discharged Antwerp on 14 November, already missed one feeder and no guarantee of space on the next feeder arriving Teesport on 29 November,” she said.

“The food to fill the hampers is bought and I thought these would make it – merry Christmas, customers!”

Current high volumes will last possibly through to the New Year warns Felixstowe’s update

The port of Felixstowe’s operational update this week warns that the “current high volumes will last at least into December and possibly through to the new year”.

 On Friday, Hapag-Lloyd’s advisory said to its customers: “We would like to inform you that based on the latest developments we do not see much improvement in the situation at London Gateway until the end of December,” adding that “actions and efforts are under way to manage the situation as best as possible”.

It was totally unrelated to the wider context of operational effectiveness told  a source to The Loadstar

The DP World-owned London Gateway facility, which said last week it was hoping to return to “business as usual” following the impact of the import volume spike, declined to comment. However, a source told The Loadstar it was “a localised issue regarding two vessels” and “totally unrelated to the wider context of operational effectiveness”.                                                                    

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