Freight & Logistics Update – 25 April

Freight & Logistics Update – 25 April

Good Day Clients & Partners,

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.


Extended berthing delays are common across all ports. Delays of upwards of two to three weeks are common at Durban Pier 2 and it will take a few weeks for shipping lines to restore schedule reliability across the trade routes. We can expect more blank sailings, port omissions and changes to voyages being announced at short notice.


The port reported windy weather during the week with low impact to operations.

  • Pier 1 : 4-5 days delay
  • Pier 2 : 22-26 days delay
  • Durban Point : 3 days



The port experienced strong winds during the week which will likely lead to additional delays faced.

  • CTCT : 4-5 days delay
  • MPT : 3-4 days delay



The port has experienced strong winds during the week which will likely lead to extended berthing delays.

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




  • Berthing delays of 3 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 delay of 1 day experienced at Port Louis.



  • Berthing delays of 6 days experienced at Maputo port.



  • Berthing delays of 4 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. Delays are due to vessels bunching.





  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port. Congestion in Vancouver continues to ease as both major Class 1 railways in Canada are providing adequate railcar supply to all marine terminals.



Terminals Updates:

  • New York/New Jersey – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days.
  • Norfolk – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Charleston – Vessel waiting time is up to 7 days. Dock construction at Wando Welch terminal started on March 11, 2024, reducing berth space 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 5 days.
  • Miami/Port Everglades – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 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 2 days.
  • Seattle – Vessel waiting time is upto 1 day. Terminal 18 will be closed on April 26, 2024.
  • Oakland – Vessel waiting time is up to 1 day. OICT reported two cranes are non-operational.




  • Berthing delays of 6 days experienced at Santos port.




  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Antwerp port.
  • Strikes threatened at Charleroi Airport until the end of April.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Le Havre port.
  • French airports could be hit by air traffic control strikes on 25 April



  • Berthing delays of 3 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 closed one of the three deep sea berths due to old Gantry crane deconstruction, currently no impact to operations.



  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at Genova port and 9 days at La Spezia port.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Rotterdam port.



  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at Barcelona port.



  • No berthing delays experienced at Gothenburg port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Istanbul port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at London Gateway port. Installation of recently delivered new Gantry cranes in progress. Second batch of cranes will leave Singapore by end of May. Disruption to Pilot service due to high winds earlier this week but fortunately, limited impact to vessel arrivals due to some gaps to the line-up.
  • Border Force workers at London’s Heathrow Airport plan to walk out from 29 April to 2 May, this could cause major disruption for international flights. Heathrow flights could also be grounded on 4-6 May as 50 refuelling workers stage a 72 hour strike.




  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Nhava Sheva and Chennai ports.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Jebel Ali port. Please note that due to severe weather conditions caused by storms in UAE, Jebel Ali Port terminals were closed in the evening of April 16th and partially resumed operations on April 17, please expect delays in berthing and offloading/loading of containers.


ASIA PACIFIC (Including Oceania)    


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Busan port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Port Kelang.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Ningbo and Shanghai ports. Delays are due to bunching of vessels and bad weather conditions.



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



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days being experienced at this port. Delays experienced due to bunching of vessels, bad weather and yard congested. FCL containers transshipping in Singapore have expected delays of 2-3 weeks.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Kaohsiung port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Bangkok port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Ho Chi Minh port and 1 day at Hai Phong port.



Cargo handling plummets as weather pummels coast:

Date: 16th April 2024

Severe weather along South Africa’s coast caused a significant drop in container handling, as reported by the latest Cargo Movement Update. During the week ending April 12, commercial ports managed only 6,180 containers per day, down from 8,061 the previous week. This decline is part of a trend, with throughput dropping from over 8,800 to below 7,200 in late March, marking a new low for container handling. The decrease is attributed to bad weather, equipment failures, and system breakdowns dominating port operations, especially impacting Cape Town, Durban, East London, and Port Elizabeth.

At the Port of Cape Town, over 60 operational hours were lost due to severe weather conditions, while Durban faced delays primarily from equipment and system failures. Stormy weather also affected operations at East London and Port Elizabeth, with strong winds and rain hampering vessel activities. In Richards Bay, around 30 operational hours were lost due to high swells and adverse weather. Although rail freight reported minimal incidents, year-on-year levels on the Container Corridor line from Durban to Gauteng were down by 9%, despite domestic cargo increasing by 17%. Source


Baltimore salvaging operation is like ‘eating an elephant’:

Date: 19th April 2024

Salvaging efforts in the Patapsco River near Baltimore have intensified as the US military and engineering teams work to remove parts of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge. Utilizing the Chesapeake 1000, a heavy-duty crane barge, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) successfully lifted a significant section of the bridge, creating a “limited access channel” to the Port of Baltimore. The collapse of the bridge, which occurred on March 26 after a container vessel struck one of its main support pillars, severely hindered maritime trade in Baltimore.

The recent lifting of a 440-tonne piece of the bridge’s superstructure marks progress, albeit most of the bridge remains submerged, obstructing the accessway to the port. Prior to this operation, salvaging vessels could only remove smaller parts of the bridge. The complexity of the salvage operation is highlighted by the tangled wreckage submerged in the river, with steel members under extreme tension and debris embedded in soft silt, making cutting challenging. Salvaged materials are transported to Tradepoint Atlantic, where workers use torches and heavy equipment to cut them into smaller pieces for recycling. Source


WSC asks US court to order FMC to correct ‘inconsistent’ new D&D rules:

Date: 19th April 2024

The World Shipping Council (WSC) is challenging recent rule changes by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) regarding detention and demurrage charges. These changes, set to take effect at the end of May, have been criticized by the WSC for containing an “internal contradiction” that may still hold truckers and intermediaries accountable for these charges. The WSC filed a petition with the US Court of Appeals, expressing concern about the confusion and uncertainty these changes may cause for ocean carriers and others in the industry.

The rule changes were part of the bipartisan 2022 Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) and aimed to limit detention and demurrage billing to contracted parties. This was intended to relieve truckers, who often found themselves responsible for resolving discrepancies between contracted terms and final invoices, even without full knowledge of the contract details. Despite industry-wide support for these changes, the WSC highlights a discrepancy between the language of the rule change and the preamble, which suggests that ocean carriers may still invoice motor carriers with whom they hold contracts.

The WSC’s petition to the court aims to address this inconsistency and ensure regulatory clarity. Since the implementation of OSRA, the FMC has faced numerous cases regarding what customers and contracted parties describe as “unfair” practices by shipping lines. These cases have involved significant sums, with some companies seeking reimbursement for wrongly charged amounts. This move underscores the ongoing challenges in regulating detention and demurrage charges in the shipping industry. Source


Rain unlocks more traffic through Panama’s Gatun Lake locks:

Date: 16th April 2024

The Panama Canal Authority has made adjustments to increase vessel traffic between the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean due to Panama’s severe drought. They plan to boost daily booking slots from 27 to 32, aiming to ease the constraints caused by the record-breaking dry spell. Additionally, the authority has reduced the draught restriction for vessels passing through the Gatun Lake locks, allowing ships with slightly deeper drafts to navigate the canal.

These changes are anticipated to take effect around mid-June, pending continued rainfall. The severe drought, the worst in Panama’s history, led to a decline in the number of vessels passing through the canal. The lack of sufficient water inflow into the locks, primarily sourced from the manmade Gatun Lake, has hindered maritime traffic, impacting Panama’s vital sectors such as domestic agriculture and global trade, which relies on the canal for up to 3% of its operations.

This decision by the Panama Canal Authority reflects efforts to mitigate the effects of the drought and alleviate the strain on maritime transportation. By adjusting booking slots and draught restrictions, they aim to restore smoother passage for vessels through the canal, thereby supporting regional and international trade activities that rely on this vital waterway. Source


Shipping on alert as Israel retaliates against Iran:

Date: 19th April 2024

Israel’s recent military action against Iran has raised concerns about escalating conflict in the Middle East, prompting maritime security experts to advise heightened alertness among ships navigating the Arabian Gulf and Western Indian Ocean. The attack, purportedly in retaliation for Iran’s hijacking of the containership MSC Aries and subsequent strike on Israel, has intensified tensions in the region already strained by Iranian-backed Houthis’ attacks on vessels amid the Gaza war. Reports indicate over 80 such attacks since November, including the seizure of a car carrier and the sinking of the Belize-flagged bulk carrier Rubymar.

With flight restrictions over Iranian airspace and airlines diverting to alternate airports, maritime vessels are urged to remain vigilant against potential threats, including increased UAV activity. While commercial maritime vessels are not currently targeted, shipmasters are advised to report any suspicious activity. Heightened tensions prompt concerns about the impact on trade routes, particularly those traversing the vital Strait of Hormuz, responsible for nearly 30% of the world’s oil trade. Metis Analytics and Braemar emphasize the potential disruption to tanker freight if these routes are affected, underscoring the need for preparedness among ship crews navigating the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. Source


Slow steaming not the way to reduce emissions, ‘check the ship’s systems’:

Date: 19th April 2024

Danish shipowners contest the effectiveness of slow steaming as a method to reduce carbon emissions, despite its endorsement by the International Maritime Organization’s carbon intensity indicator. While slowing ships by just one knot significantly decreases fuel consumption and emissions due to drag, it’s considered a short-term solution. Lars Mathiasen from tanker operator Torm argues that it’s misleading and not sustainable in the long run. He suggests that instead of focusing on reducing speed, attention should be directed towards improving ship systems and technology.

Frederik Pind, from Maersk Tankers, echoes this sentiment, emphasizing that slow steaming isn’t a priority for them. They prioritize hardware and technology upgrades over reducing speed. Torm has adopted a strategy of sending technicians aboard vessels to identify and rectify inefficiencies. Mathiasen asserts that ship systems are often overbuilt and inefficient, providing opportunities for significant emission reductions. By optimizing these systems, Torm has achieved a 39.6% reduction compared to the IMO 2008 baseline, setting a target of 45% reduction by 2030. Source


Carriers look to short-term gains over blanking, as Red Sea crisis props up rates:

Date: 18th April 2024

Amid the ongoing Red Sea crisis, container spot rates remain artificially high, prompting carriers to shift away from blank sailings to manage supply and demand. This crisis, fueled by Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping, has led vessels to divert around the Cape of Good Hope, affecting various trade routes. Analysis from Sea-Intelligence reveals a significant reduction in blank sailings, particularly on routes like Asia-North America west coast, indicating carriers’ focus on short-term revenue gains rather than adjusting capacity to stabilize rates.

Sea-Intelligence CEO Alan Murphy notes a sharp decline in blank sailings, suggesting carriers prioritize capitalizing on current higher rates over addressing rate declines. The absence of blank sailings reflects carriers’ efforts to maximize revenue amidst the market environment. However, this strategy may lead to continued downward pressure on spot rates, as evidenced by the eeSea liner database, which shows minimal blank sailings on key trade routes like Asia-North America west coast and Asia-North Europe.

While some sailings are still blanked or slid due to port issues, carriers’ decisions seem geared towards exploiting higher rates rather than reducing capacity. With uncertainties surrounding the resolution of the Red Sea crisis, carriers’ strategies may evolve based on market dynamics and the eventual end of the crisis, which currently seems distant given recent developments like the seizure of the MSC Aries. Source


Ocean trade disruption bad news for end-consumers:

Date: 17th April 2024

Recent data indicates a significant decline in maritime traffic through the Suez Canal, dropping by up to 50% due to ongoing attacks by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. This escalation of piracy by seaborne bandits off the coast of Somalia has further complicated sailing through the Arabian Sea. Consequently, to avoid these risks, the liner trade has shifted routes, leading to a notable 74% increase in vessel traffic around South Africa.

While rerouting around Africa presents revenue opportunities for the maritime industry south of the Sahara, there are drawbacks for end consumers, as highlighted by investment analyst Casey Sprake. The Cape Point detour adds at least 10 days to the journey from the Mediterranean to the Arabian Sea, resulting in increased costs for imported goods in the medium to long term. This shift in trade routes comes at a time when disruptions are also affecting the Panama Canal due to drought, leading to a 30% decrease in vessel traffic for the first quarter of 2024.

Sprake emphasizes that extended shipping costs will eventually be passed on to consumers, impacting inflation, supply chains, and investor confidence. These challenges, coupled with delays and struggling economies, particularly in emerging markets, are expected to contribute to higher prices for goods as trade disruptions persist and weigh on the global economy. Source


Navigating the Red Sea Crisis: Shippers Prepare for Prolonged Disruptions and Rising Costs:

Date: 23 April 2024

In recent months, the maritime industry has been grappling with a crisis in the Red Sea, marked by a series of attacks on container ships by Houthi rebels. These attacks, occurring in the strategic waterways of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, have led to significant disruptions in maritime traffic, with some reports indicating a reduction of up to 50% in vessel movements through the Suez Canal. As the situation unfolds, the timeline for a return to normalcy remains uncertain, raising concerns for shippers and industry stakeholders alike.

The ongoing attacks in the Red Sea have forced shipping companies to reassess their routes and strategies, with many opting to bypass the Suez Canal altogether. Instead, vessels are rerouting around the Cape of Good Hope, adding considerable time and cost to their journeys. This shift in routes has not only led to delays in cargo deliveries but has also resulted in higher operational expenses for shipping companies.

Looking ahead, the coming weeks will be critical for the maritime industry as stakeholders await the outcome of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) meeting. The decisions made during this meeting could have a significant impact on the Red Sea crisis, potentially influencing the frequency and severity of attacks on container ships. Shippers and industry participants must closely monitor developments and be prepared to adapt their strategies accordingly to mitigate risks and navigate the challenges posed by the ongoing crisis.

As the situation continues to evolve, it is essential for shippers to prioritize safety and security measures for vessels operating in the region. Additionally, contingency plans should be in place to address potential disruptions and minimize the impact on supply chains. By staying vigilant and proactive, the maritime industry can effectively manage the challenges posed by the Red Sea crisis and work towards restoring stability and efficiency in maritime trade routes. Source



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

We continue to monitor the freight world developments closely, and will be in contact with you directly for updates relevant to you on an individual shipment level.


Best Regards,

Coenie & The Inter-Sped Team