Freight & Logistics Update – 20 March 2024

Freight & Logistics Update – 20 March 2024

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 is ready to go the extra mile for you – so don’t hesitate to contact us.



Increased berthing delays noted at Pier 2. The port reported windy weather during the week.

  • Pier 1 : Upto 7 days
  • Pier 2 : 30 days
  • Durban Point : 3 days



Port berthing delays remain unchanged from week 10. The port has reported windy weather during the week.

  • CTCT : Upto 7 days
  • MPT : 3-4 days



The port has reported strong winds on Monday and Tuesday, and windy weather for the remainder of the week. Port berthing delays remain unchanged from week 10.

  • PECT : 2-4 days
  • NCT : 1-3 days





  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at Luanda port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Tema port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Abidjan port.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Mombasa port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Port Louis.



  • No berthing delays 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. This bridge is the connection to Lilypond Park where truck call-ups and pre-gates are issued to transporters to access APMT, Apapa Port. 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.



  • Reduced berthing delays of 7 days experienced at Dar es Salaam port.





  • 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 11 days experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delays of 6 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 1 day.
  • Norfolk – Vessel waiting time is up to 4 days.
  • Savannah – Vessel waiting time is up to 8 days. Frequent river closures are expected due to fog during the week.
  • Charleston – Vessel waiting time is up to 6 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.
  • Miami/Port Everglades – Vessel waiting time is down to 4 days.
  • Houston – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 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 1 day.
  • Seattle – Vessel waiting time is upto 1 day. Terminal 18 will be closed Fridays through March and April 1, 2024. Husky terminals will be closed on March 11, 2024.
  • Oakland – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.


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.


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 Santos port. Carrier scheduling remains erratic out of this country.




  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Antwerp port. PSA 869: Civil works at PSA 86 resulting in ~400 meters reduction of berth. Allowing one large vessel alongside at times but focus of cranes on one vessel is boosting productivity. No negative impact to operations.



  • Please be advised that there will be a 2-week strike between 11th and 24th March 2024 at the port of Helsinki. During this time collection and delivery services will be affected. We will monitor the situation and keep you updated as further news is received.



  • Berthing delays of 6 days experienced at Le Havre port. Strike action from Port Officers stopped all arrival and departures from Monday to Thursday morning leading to several operational challenges for all terminals in Le Havre. No further strike actions announced.



  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at Hamburg port and 2 days at Bremerhaven port. 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. First test of shore power successfully conducted earlier this week at berth 1+2. Berth line-up eased up and is showing smaller gaps.



  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Genova port and 5 days at La Spezia port. Genoa PSA GP (vte): Due to civil works ongoing in the area nearby Genoa SECH port terminal (Parco Rugna), Port Authority confirmed that for safety reasons, rail operations at SECH must be suspended with immediate effect till the end of renewal works, expected by March 20, 2024. During this period, for all vessels calling Sech terminal containers will be to be managed from / to Milan and Lombardian Area at the standard Combined Rail conditions.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Rotterdam port.



  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Barcelona port.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Gothenburg port.



  • No berthing delays experienced at Istanbul port.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at London Gateway port. New cranes delivered and are expected to be commissioned within 3 weeks. Last weeks backlog slightly dragged to this week as Pilot station needed to close last Friday/Saturday. Slight congestion expected to be cleared by next week.




  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Nhava Sheva and Chennai ports, while 2 days experienced at Mundra port.



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


APAC (Including Oceania)    


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Busan port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Port Kelang.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Ningbo port and 1 day at Shanghai port.



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



  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day 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 delays of 2 days 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.



TNPA announces R233m Durban port roads project:

Date: 12th March 2024

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) will plough R233 million into a project to rehabilitate roads surrounding the Port of Durban.

The ports authority said in a statement on Monday that “intensified pressure” posed by an influx of trucks on the port’s road infrastructure had prompted its latest investment in the rehabilitation of roads in key container-handling port precincts in the city. These include the container terminals, Maydon Wharf and the liquid bulk Island View precinct to the south of the city.

Approximately 60% of the country’s total container volumes are handled at the port, with freight mostly transported via its southern road network, which has seen a growing number of trucks dependent on the routes. The intensified surge in traffic had led to the deterioration of the overall road infrastructure, said TNPA. “Embarking on this road rehabilitation journey will ensure that we deliver on our mandate of providing port infrastructure to ensure the port’s efficient functioning as the economic gateway to our South African economy,” said acting TNPA Port Manager for the Port of Durban, Nkumbuzi Ben-Mazwi.

Maydon Wharf will take precedence, with 16 roads set for repairs, followed by Island View where three roads will be worked on, followed by a further two roads in the Bayhead precinct.A traffic management plan has been crafted to assist with redirecting traffic flow during the project’s two-year implementation period. [1]


Productivity improvements lift Port of Cape Town:

Date: 11th March 2024

The Port of Cape Town is rising, thanks to improved management, cooperation, and ongoing upgrades. Prioritizing equipment availability and streamlining processes have been key factors in boosting operational efficiency, while much has been done to strengthen staff capacity to improve productivity.

Industry bodies across the Cape have applauded these efforts, acknowledging that while there’s still a long road ahead, steps are being taken in the right direction. Terry Gale, chairman of Exporters Western Cape, said ongoing improvement, particularly in the port’s productivity, was paying off. “The Port of Cape Town often has to deal with the challenge of the weather, and equipment has led to its fair share of issues. The big concern for a while now from industry, however, has been around productivity, and we are seeing major improvements in this regard.” [2]


Inefficient African Ports See Diverted Red Sea Traffic Slipping Away:

Date: 14th March 2024

Africa’s inefficient and aging ports are hampering the continent’s chances of capitalizing on a surge in ship traffic that’s avoiding attacks by Houthi rebels through the Red Sea, logistics experts said.

The number of vessels sailing around the southern tip of Africa is up 85% from the first half of December, when the Iran-backed, Yemen-based terrorists intensified their attacks on ships, according to Clarksons Research. Some of the biggest beneficiaries are ports in South Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Namibia, all of which have seen volumes rise, manufacturing and logistics company Fictiv Inc. said.

“However, most ports in Africa are inefficient and not in the best condition to be able to fully realize all the benefits,” said Vinny Licata, Fictiv’s head of logistics. “This is could be a real opportunity for Africa, but several ports were already congested due to inefficiencies. Investments are needed to enable them to compete.”

Merchant ships have largely avoided the route that would ultimately take them through the Suez Canal since the attacks started. Last week, a missile strike killed three crew members, the first confirmed deaths since the attacks began.

Currently, Africa accounts for about 6% of global maritime trade, despite approximately 90% of its imports and exports being transported by sea, according to Freight Right Global Logistics Chief Executive Officer and Founder Robert Khachatryan.

Freight costs from Asia to the US East Coast are projected to increase by 20% to 30%, with delivery times extended by two weeks due to the longer route around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, said Khachatryan.

It’s here that South Africa’s port-infrastructure problems — ranging from equipment breakdowns to staff shortages — hurt its competitive advantage. Shipping companies using the Cape route for eastwest trade have largely avoided having to restock and refuel at South Africa’s maritime hubs due to their inability to provide services.

“This shift has directly benefited strategically located ports like Toamasina in Madagascar, Port Louis in Mauritius, and Walvis Bay in Namibia, which lie along the east-west route connecting Asia with Europe” as ships avoid South Africa, Khachatryan said. Countries with the capability to quickly scale up port and logistical operations — such as Morocco and Ghana — could accommodate the increased demand for maritime services. “Their investment in port infrastructure in recent years positions them to manage the surge efficiently,” Khachatryan said. For other parts of Africa, “concerns arise from sea-piracy incidents near Somalia and Nigeria as vessels navigate around Africa,” he said. [3]


Panama Canal Authority increases daily transit slots:

Date: 13th March 2024

The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) has announced an increase in the number of daily transit slots in response to the present and projected level of the Gatun Lake. The PCA announced through an Advisory to Shipping on Monday that it had made the new adjustment to accommodate the growing demand for transits, by increasing the number of daily slots available in the Panamax Locks.

“Two additional slots will be offered through auction for transit dates beginning March 18, and an additional slot will become available for transit dates beginning March 25.” PCA said that between 18 and 25 March it could accommodate a total of seven Neopanamax and 20 Panamax vessels, compared with a total of 24 vessels during the current period ending 17 March. [4]


Backlash from Finland transport strike brings supply chain chaos:

Date: 15th March 2024

Finnish workers across the country’s factories have been told their wages could be immediately suspended – a consequence of the two-week transport strike gripping the country that is impacting manufacturing.

The Helsinki Times reported the decision of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) last night, four days into industrial action that has shut Finland’s ports, and there are rumours that if union demands are not met, the strike will be extended for a further two weeks.

EK’s director general Jyri Häkämies said: “In layman’s terms, you could say that wages are paid for work that’s done. The conclusions are pretty straightforward in export industries; when exports aren’t moving, there’s no production.”

With the strikes hitting a wide range of industries, other business associations have made similar decisions, leading the Paperworkers’ Union to call for a legal ruling. While the Federation of Finnish Enterprises (Yrittäjät), has urged members to think carefully before following the lead of EK, its MD, Mikael Pentikäinen, noted that although there had been “many kinds of problems”, he had not heard that work had to be halted entirely.

For the logistics sector, however, the impact was immediate, with not only ports hit, but the wider transport sector also grinding to a halt. [5]


Houthi rebels threaten vessel traffic around South Africa:

Date: 15th March 2024

Ocean carriers sailing around South Africa to avoid attacks on vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden have been added to the crosshairs of Yemen’s Houthi rebels as they threaten to extend their missile reach into the southern Indian Ocean.

The new development to the crisis at the Horn of Africa comes after yet another maritime vessel was attacked as it sailed about 122 kilometres past Yemen’s Port of Hodeida, bringing the number of vessels targeted by the rebels since November to 65.

According to the rebels associated with the Ansar Allah Islamist movement, their missile tactics have improved, enabling them to extend their target zone using hypersonic military technology. The militia’s leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, said in a televised interview: “Our main battle is to prevent ships linked to the Israeli enemy from passing through not only the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, but also the Indian Ocean towards the Cape of Good Hope.

The expanded target zone signifies a major shift in the group’s operational scope, with a focus on disrupting global shipping lanes and imposing challenges on maritime activities in the region. [6]


Suez shipping disruption here to stay for the time being:

Date: 15th March 2024

Red Sea shipping diversions may last a few more months, and some freight industry experts think they could go on even longer. That’s one of the takeaways from the CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, the world’s No. 5 container line, in an interview Thursday on Bloomberg TV.

Rolf Habben Jansen was speaking as the Hamburg-based company announced its 2023 earnings, which showed a steep drop in revenue and profits from a year earlier. Attacks by Yemen’s Islamic Houthi militia on ships in the Red Sea have disrupted supply chains since mid-December, forcing carriers to change routes and redo schedules — adjustments that have helped absorb excess capacity. As a result, they are burning more fuel and taking longer to deliver, with some needing to purchase more containers, given the extended routes. The added costs are getting passed along to customers.

The longer routes around southern Africa had initially boosted spot container rates but those were coming down, said Jansen. “The services are stabilising, which also means that the market is getting calmer.” He indicated, though, that there was no telling when the Red Sea would be safe enough to transit again. [7]


Ocean Alliance launches Day 8 network – but it’s light on detail:

Date: 15th March 2024

Following the recent renewal of their cooperation until 2032, the Ocean Alliance members have launched their new east-west network for the year. However, details of the Day 8 product – it is the eighth year of the alliance’s operation – were relatively scant, suggesting that vessels have yet to be assigned to specific services and there are still questions over port rotations, understandable given the current uncertainty over Red Sea transit.

“Due to the unstable situation in the Red Sea, ships must be routed through the Cape of Good Hope, disrupting supply chains,” said CMA CGM, adding that it and its alliance partners were “stepping up coordination and adapting the rotations of the DAY 8 product”. However, CMA CGM did reveal a reduction in the overall number of services and number of ships

deployed: the Day 8 network would utilise 321 vessels across 35 services, compared with the proforma Day 7 notice a year ago, which outlined 40 services deploying 353 ships. [8]




[1] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/tnpa-announces-r233m-durban-port-roads-project

[2] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/productivity-improvements-lift-port-cape-town

[3] https://gcaptain.com/inefficient-african-ports-see-diverted-red-sea-traffic-slipping-away/

[4] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/panama-canal-authority-increases-daily-transit-slots

[5] https://theloadstar.com/backlash-from-finland-transport-strike-brings-supply-chain-chaos/

[6] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/houthi-rebels-threaten-vessel-traffic-around-south-africa

[7] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/suez-shipping-disruption-here-stay-time-being

[8] https://theloadstar.com/ocean-alliance-launches-day-8-network-but-its-light-on-detail/


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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

JJ & The Inter-Sped Team