Shippers have recently been facing more and more serious problems, such as the acute shortage of staff in ports, the shortage of containers, as well as the rapid rise in tariffs and the emergence of new financial charges. This may indicate the beginning of a global crisis in the global transportation market, experts say.
If the trend does not change, it is the situation in the ports that can cause traffic paralysis. According to analysts cited by The loadstar, the situation will still worsen until the Chinese New Year, which is celebrated in February.
Facts indicating the development of the crisis
The New Zealand port of Auckland, which is at the very end of global supply chains, has set an additional charge for ships in traffic jams. The additional cost is $ 300 per TEU, experts say. This money will be an additional burden on the prices of goods imported from Europe, Turkey and Israel, as well as from China, Japan and other countries. Delays in unloading ships in Auckland now range from 10 to 13 days, which they have to spend waiting for a free berth.
Australian ports also suffer, but from the accumulation of a huge number of empty containers. According to some estimates, at least 50,000 TEUs remain in their territory. This is especially true of Sydney. Australia is considering how to evacuate all these empty containers to other ports where suppliers are waiting for them. Most likely, special flights of cargo ships will be organized. But all these measures are still planned for the future.
In China, on the other hand, there is an acute shortage of containers, which also creates traffic jams and causes significant increases in transportation tariffs.
According to Hapag-Lloyd, which in this situation has already stopped accepting orders for future shipments of agricultural products from North America, now the whole industry is facing a “historic challenge”, and market participants must do everything possible to strengthen control over the circulation of containers.
According to Nico Hecker, director of global container logistics, containers have become a real “black swan” in today’s market. After an incredible drop in demand for 40-foot containers about six months ago, we are now seeing the strongest growth in history. “It is hard to believe that in the spring the carrier had 600,000 TEUs inactive, for which it was feverishly looking for sites with cheap storage. And now container vessels with a total capacity of 350 thousand TEU are stuck near the shore only because there are no empty containers,” – Hecker explained.
Due to containers in places where there is a shortage, the average delay in loading ships is now 7-8 days.