Freight & Logistics Update – 23 February 2024

Freight & Logistics Update – 23 February 2024

Good Day Clients & Partners,

We hope you’ve had a wonderful week! Below is the latest Freight & Logistics Update. 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 berthing delays have reduced however congestion continues to be experienced. The port has reported windy weather during the week.

  • Pier 1 : Upto 7 days
  • Pier 2 : Upto 18 days
  • Durban Point : 3 days


Port berthing delays have increased due to strong winds reported during the week. Improved turn around for equipment upliftment experienced as weather conditions have improved.

  • CTCT : Upto 10 days
  • MPT : Upto 7 days


The port has reported strong winds during the week. No additional delays experienced.

  • PECT : 0-3 days
  • NCT : 0-2 days



  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at Luanda port. This is due to congestion being experienced.


  • No berthing delays experienced at Tema port.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Abidjan port.


  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Mombasa port.


  • Reduced berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Port Louis.


  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Maputo port.


  • Berthing delay of 3 days experienced at Walvis Bay port.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Apapa port.


  • Berthing delays of 15 days experienced at Dar es Salaam port.




  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port. Bad weather continues on the North Atlantic Ocean, and this is having a mild impact on vessel schedules through Montreal.


  • Berthing delays of 10 days experienced at this port.


  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at this port. Due to adverse weather conditions and significant snow buildup, all Port Terminals in Vancouver are experiencing delays and/or suspension of operations for snow clearance.


Terminals Updates:

  • New York/New Jersey – Vessel waiting time is up to 1 day.
  • Norfolk – Vessel waiting time is up to 1 day. Berth congestion has improved but not completely back to normal.
  • Savannah – Vessel waiting time is up to 8 days.
  • Charleston – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 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 up to 3 days.
  • Houston – Vessel waiting time is up to 4 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 on February 19, 2024
  • Oakland – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days. OICT – Temporary repairs were made to crane 14. More tests will be performed before passing back off for operation. Berth 55 expected to be fully operational this weekend.

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 delay of 1 day experienced at Santos port. Carrier scheduling remains erratic due to delays



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Antwerp port. PSA 913: Salvage operation of collapsed crane completed, no further impact. Farmer strikes blocked entry roads to the terminals during the week. Strike was concluded by Wednesday, no further impact to operations.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Le Havre port. 16/02 – 24 hours of operational disruption. Further announced strikes on 22/02 and 27/02 – 24 hours of operational disruption. Strikes impact the gates and yards with 24 hours of closing and vessel arrivals have been adjusted to work around the closings.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Hamburg port and 3 days at Bremerhaven port. CTA: Terminal will start with shore power installations, which will slightly reduce berth availability, but impact to operations expected to be minimal. CTB: Ongoing shore power construction with challenges to operations for all piers at CTB but currently low impact. Berth line-up with high occupancy. Strong winds on several days of the last week led to delays to vessel arrivals and departures as the river Elbe was temporarily closed for larger vessels. Terminal is working through a slight backlog.


  • Berthing delays of 8 days experienced at Genova port and 5 days at La Spezia port.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Rotterdam port. Winter vacation in NL will start next week and will last for 2 weeks with possible impact to operations.


  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Barcelona port.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Gothenburg port.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Istanbul port.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at London Gateway port. Terminal expected to receive delivery of new Gantry cranes for the ongoing pier expansion in week 8 which will temporarily impact berth availability.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Nhava Sheva port, 3 days at Mundra port and 1 day at Chennai port.


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

ASIA PACIFIC (Including Oceania)    

Please take note that China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan celebrated Chinese New Year from 10th to 17th February 2024; while Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam celebrated the Lunar New Year from 10th February.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day 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 delays of 2 days experienced at this port.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Shanghai and Ningbo ports. Bunching of vessels experienced leading to delays faced.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Yantian port and 4 days at Shekou port.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day being experienced at this port. No delays experienced for transshipment cargo. Slight delay experienced for FCL containers transshipping in Singapore. Expected delays between 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.


Durban Container Terminal reduces vessels at anchorage

Date: 12th February 2024

Durban Container Terminal (DCT) Pier 2 has reduced the number of vessels waiting at anchor after boosting operational teams on duty. DCT said in a statement on Friday that the terminal had maintained single-digit numbers of vessels at anchor, having increased operational teams to 11 per shift on the waterside, reducing congestion in the terminal.

At the height of the vessel backlog in November, DCT Pier 2 had 43 491 import containers waiting at anchor, which has now been reduced to 1 738. Durban Terminals managing executive Earle Peters said management was holding ongoing positive engagements with shipping lines and transporters. [1]

Private sector involvement in Port of Cape Town critical

Date: 15th February 2024

The Port of Cape Town needs private sector participation to improve efficiency and drive economic growth, Western Cape MEC for Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, said after the annual port stakeholder engagement meeting this week.

Wenger and officials from the Department of Economic Development and Tourism hosted the fifth annual engagement in the city that focused on the need for urgent action to turn around performance at the Cape Town Container Terminal in the short-term and to drive investment and technologies for the port to reach its potential in the longer term.

Experts in logistics, exporters, freight forwarders, senior leadership of the National Logistics Crisis Committee and senior Transnet executives including chairperson Andile Sangqu, acting group chief executive, Michelle Phillips and acting Western Cape region managing executive Oscar Borchards attended the meeting. Wenger said more than 55% of the country’s primary agricultural products are exported through the port making its proper functioning essential for the country’s economy. She said the provincial government would closely monitor performance of the container terminal.

Premier Alan Winde said the private sector and provincial government should urgently be given morencontrol over how the port is managed for the sake of residents, the economy and job creation. “We care deeply about creating more jobs because we understand that a job is the quickest route to a better future. The Cape Town Container Terminal is currently operating at half the required volume,” he said.[2]

Logistics utility reaffirm that it’s on path to recovery

Date: 13th February 2024

Transnet has dismissed utterances by a leading academic and economist at North-West University that it’s facing an unavoidable implosion of operations.

At the same time, the state-owned company’s acting CEO, Michelle Phillips, would also not be drawn about a weekend report regarding her position.

In response to Professor Waldo Krugell’s assertion that the state-owned enterprise (SOE) is failing, Transnet acknowledged the impact of its current challenges on the economy. Ayanda Shezi, Head of Corporate Services, referred to the Recovery Plan adopted in October 2023, emphasising its role in stabilising the business and ensuring tangible, sustainable improvements in performance.

Speaking on behalf of Phillips, she said: “The Plan has six-, 12- and 18-month targets to drive improvements in operational and financial metrics. She cited the significant reduction in vessel congestion at the ports of Durban and Cape Town as evidence of this progress.

Regarding the report in a Sunday newspaper that Phillips is facing resistance from the ANC government because she’s “not black enough”, Shezi declined to comment. The report suggests that there is a push from within the ruling party to replace Phillips with Mlamuli Buthelezi, a former chief operating officer at the utility who was suspended in March 2019 following allegations of misconduct. He was suspended along with Ravi Nair, former chief executive of Transnet Freight Rail (TFR). When the pair resigned in October of the same year, Buthelezi and Nair were apparently paid respective severance packages of R12.5 million and R11.5 million each, IOL reported at the time.

Recently, the CEO of the South African Association of Ship Operators and Agents, Peter Besnard, said Phillips is the best person for the position of steering Transnet away from the mess created under Derby. He said before the Covid-19 pandemic, Phillips, who was in the capacity of an operating officer at the time, had implemented strategies supported by the freight industry. [3]

Hamburg Senate gives MSC-HHLA deal the green light

Date: 14th February 2024

MSC is one step closer to obtaining a 49.9% share in Hamburg terminal operator HHLA after the city’s senate officially approved the investment deal yesterday. The final stage of the process is to obtain the green light from the city’s parliament, due to have a hearing at the end of the month.

At this meeting,  the deal will be examined by the Economic Affairs, Budget and Public Enterprise committees and German competition regulators, but ultimately, the Hamburg parliament must approve the entry of the Italian shipping company.

HHLA (Hamburger Hafen und Logistik) is currently joint-owned by MSC and the City of Hamburg, between them controlling just over 93% of the shares, allowing them to “squeeze out” remaining shareholders. After the deal goes through, they will together own 100% of HHLA, with MSC holding 49.9% and Hamburg 50.1%. MSC and the municipality then plan to inject €450m into HHLA’s equity, which will be invested in terminal infrastructure. In addition, MSC has committed to transferring some 1m teu of container volumes a year into Hamburg, as well as transferring its German HQ to the city.

There has, however, been considerable opposition to the deal from port workers and unions including ver.di, which has said: “Ver.di fundamentally rejects the sale of HHLA shares and thus the sale of public property to private investors.” [4]

Congestion fears ease as Europe’s ports cope with arrival of delayed vessels

Date: 13th February 2024

Container hub ports in North Europe appear be coping well with the arrival of a cluster of ships from Asia, delayed after being re-routed around the African coast.

Fears of a repeat of the severe port and landside congestion that plagued the hubs for months after the Ever Given’s six-day blockage of the Suez Canal in 2021 are so far proving unfounded.

According to Hapag-Lloyd’s latest terminal operations update for North Europe, its hub ports of Rotterdam, Hamburg and Southampton saw yard utilisation levels last week spike to between 85% and 90%, from around just 55% in the previous weeks, reflecting the arrival of delayed vessels. And, as well as the huge increase in vessel exchanges last week, the hubs also had to contend with extremely bad weather in the North Sea, with very strong winds leading to more delays.

Significantly, Hapag reported, empty-container stacks at the North European hubs currently haveutilisation levels of around 60% to 65%, meaning carriers have succeeded in evacuating a substantialnumber of containers for return to Asia in time to avoid an equipment crunch for export bookings.

According to the Signal data, there is currently no berth waiting time at the port, with vessels spending an average of 4.4 days alongside for discharge and load operations.” [5]

Houthis Resume Attacks on International Shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

Date: 9th February 2024

The Houthi rebels resumed attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden this week following a brief pause. The U.S. Central Command has reported several incidents, highlighting the Houthis’ ongoing capability and determination to continue with these attacks despite multiple military strikes by U.S. forces against Houthi targets in Yemen.

The UKTMO reported Friday a vessel reported a nearby explosion in the Red Sea approximately 70 nautical miles northwest of Al Mukha, Yemen. The vessel and crew are reported safe. The U.S. State Department said the Panamanian-flagged M/T Pollux was struck by a missile, causing minor damage. The ship was carrying crude oil bound for India.

The attacks this week followed a brief pause. On February 6, Houthi rebels fired six anti-ship ballistic missiles from their controlled areas toward the Southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. A new report NBC News suggests that a U.S. cyberattack on the suspected Iranian spy ship MV Behshad may have been a factor. The incidents illustrate the ongoing volatility in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden due to continued Houthi attacks on shipping.” [6]


[1] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/durban-container-terminal-reduces-vessels-anchorage

[2] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/private-sector-involvement-port-cape-town-critical

[3] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/logistics-utility-reaffirms-its-path-recovery

[4] https://theloadstar.com/hamburg-senate-gives-msc-hhla-deal-the-green-light/

[5] https://theloadstar.com/congestion-fears-ease-as-europes-ports-cope-with-arrival-of-delayed-vessels/

[6] https://gcaptain.com/houthi-resume-attacks-on-international-shipping-in-the-red-sea-and-gulf-of-aden/

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