Alert – Sea Freight – Challenging times Ahead – 7th May 2024

Alert – Sea Freight – Challenging times Ahead – 7th May 2024

Good Afternoon all Inter-Sped Clients & Partners.

 The outlook for Sea Freight is looking increasing challenging – please find below summary:

Key Challenges: 

  1. South Africa: Increased berthing delays are being experienced at all South Africa’s major ports – With Durban seeing some vessels wait at anchor for upto 2 weeks before securing a berthing.

These delays will disrupt sailing schedules on both the inbound and outbound services and lead to increased blank sailings, port omissions and last last minute changes to sailing schedules.


  1. European ports: Vessel schedule delays continue to impact the region – this in large part due to:
    1. Weather related disruptions in Northern Europe.
    2. The diversion of vessels away from the Red Sea following attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen – Resulting in significant increase in volumes at Europe’s major Transhipment ports.
    3. Container ports around the western Mediterranean are nearing full capacity. 


  1. Far East: Capacity constraints, erratic schedules, rollovers, and delays persist in many Asian ports due to:
    1. China’s recent Labor Day (May 1st-5th, 2024).
    2. Limited availability of container ships and equipment as more vessels take the longer route around Africa.
    3. Increased demand on Asia-Europe trade lanes.


  1. Indian Sub-Continent & Middle East: Schedule disruptions and capacity limitations are impacting this region due to:
    1. Unforeseen demand surges.
    2. Extended journey times on the India-Europe route due to the Suez Canal closure which ties up vessels and equipment for longer.
    3. Congestion at key transhipment ports that service the Indian Sub-hub-continent such as Jebel Ali.


Expected Impact:

We anticipate increasing challenges in sea freight over the coming weeks & months. This may lead to a rise in sea-to-air conversions as importers and exporters seek alternatives for delayed shipments.


Our Commitment:
As always, the Inter-Sped Team will do their absolute best to ensure the best outcomes Possible.


Best Regards

JJ & The Inter-Sped Team