The number of container ships anchored outside the Port of Los Angeles has dropped by two-thirds from February
The Port of Yantian in Shenzhen continues to suffer problems since late May due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the region
Reduced port productivity in Yantian is resulting in a reported 20,000-container backlog and a string of shipping lines diverting to other terminals in Guangzhou
Congestion is also now occurring in parts of Europe, with the Port of Hamburg in particular reportedly suffering from a mix of higher container volumes and protests blocking the roads into the port
While congestion problems at the Port of Los Angeles have begun to ease, the situation in Southern China, particularly at the Port of Yantian in Shenzhen, continues to deteriorate, according to Transport Intelligence (Ti).
The transport and logistics market intelligence provider in a new report said the Port of Los Angeles has finally begun to reduce its container and shipping backlogs which date back to November 2020.
The number of ships at anchor outside the port has already dropped by two-thirds from February, “when 40 container vessels were at anchor outside of the breakwater and the average time sitting was about eight days,” said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, as quoted by Ti.
Seroka said there remained issues with rail services but solutions were being delivered to deal with these as well.
However, as the situation in Los Angeles and the West Coast generally has improved, that in Southern China has deteriorated.
The Port of Yantian in Shenzhen has continued to suffer problems since late May due to the effects of a COVID-19 outbreak in the region. Maersk has been providing a running update of the situation at Yantian International Container Terminal, where all operations in the western area remain suspended indefinitely due to the spread of the virus.
“The impact of reduced port productivity is resulting in a reported 20,000 container backlog and a string of shipping lines diverting to other terminals in Guangzhou,” said author Thomas Cullen.
In addition, congestion is now occurring in parts of Europe, with the Port of Hamburg in particular reportedly suffering from a mix of higher container volumes and protests blocking the roads into the port. Some shipping lines have temporarily begun to divert services to neighboring terminals.
The issue of congestion has been described by Seroka as part of a “broad east-west problem across the world,” said Cullen. “This seems to acknowledge that consumer demand at the global level continues to be very unbalanced, with the US, in particular, continuing to experience near-boom conditions whilst China has focussed on supporting state-owned enterprises rather than private consumers.”
Cullen added: “Yet these problems also point to continued robustness in global trade, quite different to the fall in intercontinental traffic predicted last year. This is likely to require a continued level of investment in new capacity in logistics infrastructure such as ports.”
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