Potential Capacity Crunch Hits North European Container Ports
North European container ports are on the brink of a potential capacity shortage in early February as a fleet of alliance vessels from Asia, previously rerouted around Africa, approaches the Channel.
Several shipping loops originating from Asia to North Europe completed their last loadings in Asian ports at the end of December. These loops now display revised Estimated Time of Arrivals (ETAs) at North European discharge ports, scheduled for early to mid-February. Consequently, the imminent arrival of these vessels is expected to result in a certain level of 'vessel bunching,' prompting carriers to consider adjusting port rotations or streamlining operations at a reduced number of hubs.
Vessel ETAs have experienced delays of 10 days or more, contingent on whether voyages were temporarily halted. Alliance carriers are engaged in a competitive struggle to secure arrival slots at key hub terminals, underscoring the challenges posed by the altered shipping schedules.
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