Freight & Logistics Update 14 December 2023

Freight & Logistics Update 14 December 2023

Good Day Clients & Partners,

We  hope December has been good to you all so far! This weeks Freight & Logistics Update as below. As always, the Inter-Sped team are ready to jump for you – so don’t hesitate to contact us for any of your freight and logistics needs.


Port congestion surcharges:
ONE has issued a notice of the introduction of Port congestion surcharges, this means that all main carriers have now imposed the congestion surcharge. This amount averaging at $200 TEU will come into effect with most carriers in December.


  • Durban is progressing with its recovery plan. An increased effort from TRANSNET in regard to increased manpower, repairs and upgrades of equipment etc.
  • 49 vessels of which 22 container vessels (estimated 28,000 TEUS) remain at anchor with a waiting time of 15-20 days before berthing and a further 4-6 days for vessel discharging.
  • It is estimated that it will take a further 12 weeks to clear the backlog, and return the ports to normality.
  • Pier 1 : 6 days
  • Pier 2 : 18-24 days
  • Durban Point : 3 days



  • Operations are working well with 4 vessels at anchor and delays down to 2-3 days.
  • Container collection has improved with waiting time averaging 3 hours.
  • High winds are however resulting in some delays, but good progress can be noted.
    The port still battles with equipment down times, however seven new RTG carriers will be arriving shortly which will increase the landside operation.
  • CTCT : 3 days
  • MPT : 1 day



  • Port operations and conditions are better, with no vessels at anchor.
  • Delays of 2-3 days, due to high winds that are impacting vessel operations.
  • Delays are still being experienced with the container booking systems which are impacting the collection of inbound containers from the terminal, adding an additional 48 hours for collection.
  • PECT : 1 day
  • NCT : 1 day




  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Port Louis.



  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Luanda port. Congestion experienced at the port.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Tema port.



  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Apapa port.



  • Berthing delays of 14 days experienced at Dar es Salaam port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Mombasa port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Maputo port.



  • Berthing delays of 8 days experienced at Walvis Bay port.




Terminals Updates:

  • New York/New Jersey – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Norfolk – Vessel waiting time is up to 1 day. All cranes are working.
  • Savannah – Vessel waiting time is up to 4 days.
  • Charleston – Vessel waiting time is up to 4 days.
  • Miami/Port Everglades – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Houston – Vessel waiting time is up to 5 days. Due to vessel bunching the yard is facing congestion impacting the discharge productivity and extending port stays
  • Los Angeles/ Long Beach – Vessel waiting time is up to 1 day.
  • Seattle – Vessel waiting time is up to 1 day.
  • Oakland – Vessel waiting time is up to 4 days. TraPac has received 6 new RTG’s and are in process of commissioning, likely to be operational mid-December.


Rail Updates:

  • BNSF – Rail ramp is currently experiencing congestion in Chicago, Columbus, and Los Angeles. There are delays in picking-up and delivering containers at these locations.
  • UP/LAX/LGB – Rail ramp is currently experiencing congestion in Los Angeles. There are delays in picking-up and delivering containers at this location.


Equipment Availability:

  • Due to persistent congestion nationwide, chassis shortages continue to be observed resulting in potential delays for pick-up and delivery.




  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port. Bad weather has begun on the North Atlantic and this is having mild impact on vessel schedules through Montreal. Once alongside, there are no issues with labour availability and there is positive productivity in the yard.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port.




  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Santos port.




  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Antwerp port. Ongoing strike of the Flemish Pilots is leading to delays for arrival and departures for all ports in Antwerp.




  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Hamburg port and no delays at Bremerhaven port. CTA Terminal with good productivity; however, terminal is being challenged by the ongoing  snowy weather in Hamburg. CTB Terminal challenged by the ongoing snowy weather in Hamburg and needed to stop operations for a few hours. Construction will continue until end of December. Ongoing shore power construction with challenges to operations for all piers at CTB remains.



  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at London Gateway port. Slight disruption to berthing this week due to fog and heavy winds.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Barcelona port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Genova and La Spezia ports.
  • Weather-related Delays at North Tyrrhenian Ports: recent severe weather conditions, have impacted operations at North Tyrrhenian ports (Genoa, La Spezia, Leghorn, Civitavecchia, and Salerno). Terminal operational stops, continuous stop-and-go scenarios, and manoeuvring delays have been experienced. Vessel delays expected.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Rotterdam port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Le Havre port and 1 day at Fos-sur-Mer port. A strike was held on December 7 at Le Havre with 4 hours of suspended operations. Next week another nationwide strike is expected for December 14 and is likely to last for 24 hours.



  • No berthing delays experienced at Istanbul port.





  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Nhava Sheva, Mundra and Chennai ports.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Colombo port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Jebel Ali port.


ASIA PACIFIC (Including Oceania)    

Hazardous commodity acceptance out of China remains a challenge as approval for loading remains subject to carriers’ stringent acceptance protocols. Capacity constraints are currently being experienced with carriers out of Asia.



  • No berthing delays experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Kaohsiung port.



  • No berthing delays experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Shanghai and Ningbo ports.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.



  • No berthing delays experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Shekou and Yantian ports.



  • No berthing delays experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Busan port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Ho Chi Minh and Hai Phong ports.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Port Kelang.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Bangkok port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day being experienced at this port. No delays experienced for transshipment cargo. Delays are expected for FCL containers transshipping in Singapore. Expected delays are between 1-2 weeks.



Transnet secures critical spares for port equipment

Date: 7th December 2023

Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) has concluded a seven-year agreement with four Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for the supply of critical spares to alleviate equipment constraints at the country’s ports.

TPT Durban Terminals managing executive Earl Peters said the move would lead to about a 30% improvement in straddle carrier availability at DCT Pier 2, boosting the efficiency of the offloading of containers from vessels, within the next two weeks.

The process of developing a parts catalogue and aligning the coding of materials on both OEM and TPT systems started this week, and OEMs Kalmar, Liebherr, Kone Cranes and ZPMC have already started supplying spares.Peters said TPT requires about 8 000 different material items from each OEM across its four divisions including containers, bulk, break bulk and automotive in its 16 sea-cargo terminals and three inland terminals. [1]


More liner services avoiding canals to head for the Cape

Date: 7 th December 2023

Confidence in the Panama Canal to process container vessel transits appears to have completely bombed over the past week, and there have been widespread diversions of Asia-North America east coast sailings to Suez and Indian Ocean routes.

“Multiple carriers have revealed changes to imminent voyages by removing the Panama Canal” eeSea operations and forecasting analyst Destine Ozuygur.

However, expectations that this might result in an increase in vessels transiting the Suez Canal have been dented by the recent attacks on commercial shipping by Houthi rebels, off the coast of Yemen.  “It seems many vessels that had originally planned to utilise a divergent route through the Suez Canal are now avoiding the area for fear of the safety of their crew and the vessels,” Ms Ozuygur said, adding that the conflict could significantly reduce traffic through both canals.

“For the first time in recent memory we could possibly see a significant downturn of traffic through the Suez and the Panama canals, with a high volume of vessels preferring passage past the Cape of Good Hope. [2]


German rail strike another headache for supply chain managers

Date: 8th December 2023

A sudden 24-hour strike on Germany’s railways has brought further headaches for Europe’s supply chain managers already contending with industrial disruption on Flemish waterways.

Germany’s GDL union strike addressed the ongoing dispute with state operator Deutsche Bahn (DB).

Talks between DB and the GDL broke off at the end of November, with the union still seeking a reduction in working hours from 38 to 35 a week. It is also seeking a monthly salary increase for its members of €555, and a one-off compensation bonus of €3,000, as workers continue to struggle with the pressures brought about by spiking inflation.

DB has rejected any change in working hours, citing a continuing labour increase, but has offered an 11% increase in wages.

For Europe’s supply chain managers, despite its short tenure, the strike will only compound the difficulties they are contending with from strikes along Belgium’s waterways, affecting the continent’s second largest container port, Antwerp.

The latest updates from Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) released today show that the Port of Antwerp has a delay of eight ships incoming and four ships outgoing. The Port of Zeebrugge shows fewer delays but is still backlogged with six ships incoming and two ships outgoing. It said that it cannot assure normal operations will be resumed until the unions officially end their actions. An end date to industrial action currently has not been announced. [3]


MSC’s plan to acquire Hamburg port operator moves ahead

Date: 5th December 2023

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has reached an important milestone in its proposed investment in Hamburger Hafen und Logistik Aktiengesellschaft (HHLA) which operates the Port of Hamburg.

The carrier has completed the first phase of the tender offer process and is now moving into the second phase, with the company reporting good progress to complete the proposed acquisition.

MSC is seeking to acquire all HHLA’s A shares, while the City of Hamburg would continue to own the S shares and retain majority ownership. Both companies have agreed to a plan calling for significant investment in the port’s operations and the expansion of MSC’s operations in Hamburg.

Subject to Hamburg’s parliamentary approval, the City of Hamburg and MSC will provide HHLA with $482 million in additional equity capital for investments in business operations over the next few years. In total, the city and MSC will support the investment, amounting to at least $830m between 2025 and 2028. MSC has committed to grow its volume in Hamburg to reach one million TEUs from 2031. [4]


Cyclone disrupts port operations along India’s east coast corridor

Date: 8th December 2023

The flow of containers in and out of southern Indian ports has been severely disrupted by Cyclone Michaung, which caused widespread mayhem in and around Chennai this week.

Chennai, Kattupalli and Ennore, the three key container ports along the country’s east coast corridor, had to halt operations for three days. The state of Tamil Nadu bore the brunt of the adverse weather, which brought torrential rains and flooding in Chennai, turning highways into rivers and swamping rail lines.

With power lines knocked out, port authorities had serious challenges reopening full-scale operations. According to industry sources, while the three ports resumed vessel berthing, export/import cargo flows have been minimal, and access to inland areas mostly cut off. [5]


Australia’s Fremantle container terminal to be relocated

Date: 7th December 2023

The Western Australian (WA) government has identified its preferred site for the relocation of its container terminal operations currently based in Fremantle. The port, which handles almost all the container cargo for the state, is running out of capacity and occupies prime real estate in the Fremantle Inner Harbour in Perth, that officials say could be better used for the city.

The government has called for the relocation of the container operations from its current location to Kwinana, about 15 miles to the south, uniting the container operations with existing bulk cargo operations. The container operations, known as the Westport Project will be located adjacent to the existing Outer Harbour, a major bulk cargo port handling grain, petroleum, liquid petroleum gas, alumina, mineral sands, fertilizers, coal, sulphur, iron ore and other commodities.

The port currently handles imports and exports of around 800 000 containers with terminals operated by DP World and Patrick Terminals. However, the port infrastructure and surrounding roads are expected to reach capacity within the next two decades. The port needs to grow capacity to more than three million containers over the next 50 years. [6]


Carriers pushing rate hikes ahead of new year service suspensions

Date: 8th December 2023

Asia-Europe ocean carriers are making one final attempt to hike rates on the troubled tradelane next year.

Hapag-Lloyd yesterday joined CMA CGM in raising its FAK (freight all kinds) Asia-North Europe 40ft rate to $3,000 from 1 January. However, the shipping lines have a long way to go to meet their aspirations; for example, Drewry’s WCI Asia-North Europe component is still at a lowly $1,343 per 40ft this week, albeit that the reading has shown a 15% uplift over the past seven days..

This week the WCI Asia-Med spot also saw an increase, of 15%, to $1,608 per 40ft, but Vespucci Maritime’s Lars Jensen argued that the impressive jump this week in the WCI’s North Europe and Mediterranean spots needed to be put into perspective, as it just brings the rates back to the levels seen in mid-September. “The GRI implemented a month ago was severely undermined in the second half of November, and the new increase brings the Asia-North Europe spot level to a point only 6% above the previous GRI, and for Asia-Med it is 9% above the previous GRI,” said Mr Jensen.

In the interim, more shippers have reported that they have been unable to book on carrier online spotplatforms for December shipment, as carriers attempt to squeeze the market by blanking around 40% of their advertised sailings from China.

On 1 January, it will be just a few weeks until the start of the Chinese New Year holiday, starting on 10 February, so carriers will be looking to achieve a maximum percentage of their GRIs (general rate increases) in the build-up to the factory shutdowns. Thereafter, Mr Jensen believes, carriers will be forced to take more drastic action, to address the

worsening supply/demand imbalance. [7]




SACO CFR | Hapag Lloyd | Maersk | MSC | Transnet | The LoadStar Publications | gCaptain.com | Shipco Transport | Splash247.com | Freightnews | Hellenic Shipping News | DSV | Seatrade Maritime News | JAS Newsflash


[2] https://theloadstar.com/more-liner-services-avoiding-canals-and-head-for-the-cape/

[3] https://theloadstar.com/german-rail-strike-another-headache-for-supply-chain-managers/

[4] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/mscs-plan-acquire-hamburg-port-operator-moves-ahead

[5] https://theloadstar.com/cyclone-disrupts-port-operations-along-indias-east-coast-corridor/

[6] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/australias-fremantle-container-terminal-be-relocated

[7] https://theloadstar.com/carriers-pushing-rate-hikes-ahead-of-new-year-service-suspensions/


As always, the Inter-Sped team will do their utmost to ensure we provide the very best services & outperform the industry as a whole.


Best Regards

Linda & The Inter-Sped Team