With a wave of import containers expected from Shanghai’s reopening and peak season just around the corner, North Europe’s box port hubs, worryingly, remain severely congested.
Huge stacks of empty containers and hundreds of frustrated export boxes have built up at the major North European hubs as carriers blanked a third of their advertised sailings during the recent two-month Shanghai lockdowns.
Moreover, the ports have used much of their off-dock overflow capacity for the long-term storage of thousands of customs-blocked Russia-destined containers.
Commenting specifically about congestion at Hamburg, an industry contact told The Loadstar the city port was “sitting on an enormous pile of export containers”. He added: “German industry still works to a seven-day schedule, but vessels are arriving every nine to 12 days. That equates to a missing sailing every four to five weeks, and terminals are overflowing.” He noted that also applied to warehouses and storage areas in and around Hamburg.
In a market update this week, Maersk advised that its networks were “under severe pressure”, which it blamed on “disrupted operations in European ports”.