Freight & Logistics Update – 2 April

Freight & Logistics Update – 2 April

Good Day Clients & Partners,

Hoping the week has been off to a great start! Please find below the latest Freight & Logistics Update.  As always, the Inter-Sped team are ready to go the extra mile for you – so don’t hesitate to contact us.



No improvement to berthing delays noted at Pier 2. The port reported windy weather during the week with no impact to operations.

  • Pier 1 : 5 days – Poor STS (ship to shore) reliability and availability resulting in low productivity. Estimated recovery in 3-4 weeks.
  • Pier 2 : 22-28 days – STS breakdown and poor straddle carrier reliability and availability. Medium terms equipment recommissioning by June / July. Terminal recovery expected in the next 3-5 months.
  • Durban Point : 3 days


The port has reported some wind impact to operations during the week.

  • CTCT : 3-5 days – Full recovery expected to take 2 weeks (not withstanding possible Southeaster wind delays).
  • MPT : 4-5 days – Low productivity due to MHC (mobile harbour crane) breakdowns.


Port berthing delays are improved from week 11. Windy weather reported during the week with low impact to operations.

  • PECT : 1-2 days
  • NCT : 2-3 days – 2 berth operation in effect with berth D102 out until end of March. Crane 6, 7 and 8 out for repairs. Expected recovery in the beginning of April.



  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Luanda port.


  • No berthing delays experienced at Tema port.


  • No berthing delays experienced at Abidjan port.


  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Mombasa port.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Port Louis.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Maputo port.


  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Walvis Bay port.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Apapa port. Please take note of road maintenance taking place on the Ijora / Apapa bridge. As a result of the bridge closure, movement in and out of the port has been streamlined to one lane resulting in traffic gridlock and congestion. These challenges will result in delays in container transfers to and from the port and may result in additional charges being raised.


  • Berthing delays of 15-22 days experienced at Dar es Salaam port. Delays are due to vessels bunching.




  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port. Bad weather on the North Atlantic Ocean continues to have a minor impact on vessel schedules through Montreal.


  • Berthing delays of 8 days experienced at this port.


  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at this port. All marine terminals in Vancouver are facing heavy congestion, resulting from an inadequate supply of rail cars from major Class 1 railways.


Terminals Updates:

  • New York/New Jersey – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Norfolk – Vessel waiting time is up to 1 day.
  • Charleston – Vessel waiting time is up to 7 days. Dock construction at Wando Welch terminal is starting in March 2024, reducing from 3 to 2 berths for one year. Berths will be given on first come, first serve basis.
  • Savannah – Vessel waiting time is up to 4 days. Frequent river closures are expected due to fog during the week.
  • Miami/Port Everglades – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Houston – Vessel waiting time is up to 7 days. Bad weather in the Gulf of Mexico continues to cause closures at ports south of Houston and delays on arrival, on short notice.
  • Los Angeles/Long Beach – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Seattle – Vessel waiting time is upto 7 days. Terminal 18 will be closed Fridays through March and April 1, 2024.
  • Oakland – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Santos port.



  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Antwerp port. PSA 913: Salvage operation of collapsed crane completed, part of the yard still under repair.


  • The two-week strike which should have concluded on 24th March 2024 will be extended for a further week. Please refer to article provided for additional information. We will monitor the situation and keep you updated as further news is received.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Le Havre port.


  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Hamburg and Bremerhaven ports. CTA: Terminal started with shore power installations beginning of March, which slightly reduces berth availability, no impact to operations for this week. CTB: Ongoing shore power construction with challenges to operations for all piers at CTB but currently low impact as the construction moves around the vessel arrivals.


  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Genova port and 5 days at La Spezia port.


  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Rotterdam port.


  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at Barcelona port.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Gothenburg port.


Berthing delays of 7 days experienced at Istanbul port.


  • Berthing delays of 6 days experienced at London Gateway port. New cranes delivered and are expected to be commissioned within 2 weeks.



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


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Jebel Ali port.

ASIA PACIFIC (Including Oceania)    


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Busan port.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Port Kelang.


  • No berthing delays experienced at this port.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.


  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Ningbo port and 2 days at Shanghai port.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Shekou port and no delays at Yantian port.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days being experienced at this port. Delays experienced due to bunching of vessels and yard congested caused by heavy volume discharge. FCL containers transshipping in Singapore have expected delays of 1-2 weeks.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Kaohsiung port.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Bangkok port.


  • Berthing delays of 1 day experienced at Ho Chi Minh and Hai Phong ports.


Box throughput improves, but delays still endemic at South African ports:

Date: 19th March 2024

Crane breakdowns and adverse weather are exacerbating delays at South Africa’s ports, despite a recent improvement in container throughput at its main gateways. The South African logistics crisis has been escalating for years, and a lack of government investment into supply chain infrastructure has left the country’s ports, railways and roads extremely susceptible to disruption.

However, for the week ending 15 March, the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) reported that ports had handled an average of 8,838 containers a day, up significantly on the 7,755 handled the week before. And state-owned port operator Transnet (TNPA) reported, in its February figures, that 23% more containers were handled than in January and 26% year on year.

“The increasing quantities of cargo handled – in conjunction with the monthly reported volumes from TNPA – for our container industry are starting to indicate that we may have turned a corner, as far as port operations go,” said SAAFF. However, it warned: “It is probably too early to take this as a firm trend. [1]

Return of Somali Pirates Adds to Crisis for Global Shipping:

Date: 21st March 2024

As a speed boat carrying more than a dozen Somali pirates bore down on their position in the western Indian Ocean, the crew of a Bangladeshi-owned bulk carrier sent out a distress signal and called an emergency hotline. No one reached them in time. The pirates clambered aboard the Abdullah, firing warning shots and taking the captain and second officer hostage, Chief Officer Atiq Ullah Khan said in an audio message to the ship’s owners. “By the grace of Allah no one has been harmed so far,” Khan said in the message, recorded before the pirates took the crew’s phones. The company shared the recording with Reuters.

The raids are piling risks and costs onto shipping companies also contending with repeated drone and missile strikes by Yemen’s Houthi militia in the Red Sea and other nearby waters. More than 20 attempted hijackings since November have driven up prices for armed security guards and insurance coverage and raised the specter of possible ransom payments, according to five industry representatives.

Two Somali gang members told Reuters they were taking advantage of the distraction provided by Houthi strikes several hundred nautical miles to the north to get back into piracy after lying dormant for nearly a decade.

While the threat is not as serious as it was in 2008-2014, regional officials and industry sources are concerned the problem could escalate. “If we do not stop it while it’s still in its infancy, it can become the same as it was,” Somali President

The waterways off Somalia include some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Each year, an estimated 20,000 vessels, carrying everything from furniture and apparel to grains and fuel, pass through the Gulf of Aden on their way to and from the Red Sea and Suez Canal, the shortest maritime route between Europe and Asia.

At their peak in 2011, Somali pirates launched 237 attacks and held hundreds of hostages, the International Maritime Bureau reported. That year, the Oceans Beyond Piracy monitoring group estimated their activities cost the global economy about $7 billion, including hundreds of millions of dollars in ransoms. The current rate of attacks is significantly less, with the pirates primarily targeting smaller vessels in less patrolled waters, maritime risk managers and insurers said. [2]

East coast port strike threat prompts shippers to consider heading west instead:

Date: 18th March 2024

Cargo owners have been advised to make contingency plans for a strike at US east and Gulf coast ports that could hit traffic flows as early as 1 October, right in the peak shipping season.

The six-year labour contact between the International Longshoremen Association (ILA) and United States Maritime Alliance (USMX), covering ports on the eastern US coastline, is set to expire on 30 September. The ILA represents about 45,000 port workers, while the USMX speaks on behalf of the terminal operators at 46 ports from Maine to Texas.

The two sides started talks a year ago, but those stalled after only a few weeks. ILA president Harold Daggett has repeatedly warned that the union would not continue work under the current contract past its expiry date, signalling a strike as early as 1 October.

The union has sued USMX and two carriers – Hapag-Lloyd and OOCL – for $300m over a contested hybrid labour model at the Leatherman terminal in Charleston, arguing that this violates the existing master agreement. It is also resisting a move by wind energy developer Orsted to allocate work related to handling offshore wind components at the port of New London to the International Union of Operating Engineers.

According to some observers, the impact of work stoppages on imports would be almost immediate, owing to the ILA’s stance and the situation with the Panama Canal. Retailers have to make arrangements for their peak season imports. Without a good sense of how the negotiations are progressing, they will be making plans to avoid getting caught up in any disruption in October, said Jonathan Gold, NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy. [3]

Strike paralysing Finnish ports extended after talks collapse:

Date: 22nd March 2024

The two-week strike by Finnish transport workers that has effectively shut down the country’s ports is set to enter a third week, after union members voted to extend the action until 1 April. Around 7,000 workers across the transport, industrial and electrical sectors, and including the AKT transport workers union, have been on strike since 11 March in protest at proposed labour reforms by the Finnish government.

A meeting between representatives of SAK, the country’s trade union confederation, and government officials yesterday fell apart, following which union officials announced the strike would continue. “We are disappointed. We had hoped for a more even-handed approach and some mitigation of hard measures for employees,” said SAK president Jarkko Eloranta. “The government did not compromise, and still intends to implement several industrial policy objectives with negative consequences for employees.

As a result, container operations at Finland’s main ports – Helsinki, Kotka, Turku and Rauma – have been suspended for a further week, and container terminal operators said once dockers returned to the ports the backlog could take several days to clear. [4]

Port of Colombo reaping ‘a bumper harvest’ from the Red Sea crisis:

Date: 21st March 2024

Sri Lanka’s Colombo port seems to have had a “bumper volume harvest” from the Red Sea crisis, after vessel operators frantically adjusted port calls to minimise schedule disruptions from the longer transits around southern Africa. Colombo is a busy intermediate point for container transhipment in South Asia, predominantly for Indian cargo.

Combined container volumes at Colombo climbed 33% year on year last month, with mainstay transhipment up 29%. DP World’s Vallarpadam transhipment terminal (ICTT) at Cochin port in southern India, has also made some “spillover gains” from the Red Sea crisis, data indicates. The terminal reported a 38% increase in throughput in February, handling some 75,000 teu, with transhipments hitting a new monthly high of some 18,500 teu.

According to the source, the detour via the Cape of Good Hope meant mainline carriers on trades to North Europe and the Mediterranean suspended direct calls to Middle East ports, including King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia and Salalah in Oman. [5]

THE Alliance goes large on the transpacific to reassure shippers:

Date: 19th March 2024

To reassure shippers that its transpacific coverage will remain strong, THE Alliance (Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, HMM and Yang Ming) will reinstate two transpacific services after suspending the strings for almost half a year.

On 15 April, THE Alliance will restore the Asia-US east coast 4 (EC4/SUEZ1) service that was

withdrawn in November for the winter lull season and will return with a new rotation: Kaohsiung, Xiamen, Yantian, Cai Mep, Singapore, Norfolk, Savannah, Charleston, New York, Singapore, and Kaohsiung. The former call at Hong Kong will be omitted and the loop diverted from transiting the Suez Canal to the Cape of Good Hope on both east and westbound voyages. [6]

Global Trade Expected to Rebound in 2024, UNCTAD Reports:

Date: 21st March 2024

Global trade is projected to recover in 2024, bouncing back from a downward trend seen in 2023, according to a new report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The UNCTAD’s latest update indicated that global trade shrunk by 3% in 2023 compared to 2022, a record-breaking year that saw trade reach $32 trillion. The decline in goods was more significant at 5%, representing a $1.3 trillion drop. Meanwhile, the services sector demonstrated resilience, recording an 8% increase from the previous year, amounting to $500 billion.

However, the report warns that geopolitical tensions and supply chain disruptions continue to pose significant risks and require ongoing monitoring. Security issues in the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, along with climate-related effects on water levels in the Panama Canal, could increase shipping costs, lengthen voyage times, and disrupt supply chains. [7]


[1] https://theloadstar.com/box-throughput-improves-but-delays-still-endemic-at-south-african-ports/

[2] https://gcaptain.com/return-of-somali-pirates-adds-to-crisis-for-global-shipping/

[3] https://theloadstar.com/east-coast-port-strike-threat-prompts-shippers-to-consider-heading-westinstead/

 [4] https://theloadstar.com/strike-paralysing-finnish-ports-extended-after-talks-collapse/

[5] https://theloadstar.com/port-of-colombo-reaping-a-bumper-harvest-from-the-red-sea-crisis/

[6] https://theloadstar.com/thea-goes-large-on-the-transpacific-to-reassure-shippers/

[7] https://gcaptain.com/global-trade-expected-to-rebound-in-2024-unctad-reports/

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

Please contact your Inter-Sped representative with any urgent queries or freight needs. We continue to monitor the freight world developments closely, and will be in contact with you for updates that concern you.

Best Regards

Coenie & The Inter-Sped Team