Freight & Logistics Update – 30th May 2024

Freight & Logistics Update – 30th May 2024

Good Day Clients & Partners,

This week’s 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 with any questions you have.

With supply chains under serious pressure worldwide – we have highlighted key area’s for concern in blue.


Berthing delays continue across all ports in South Africa. Delays at Pier 2 in Durban are now running between 14 & 20 days.  We expect more blank sailings, port omissions, rollovers and schedule changes to be announced on short notice. The challenge faced at South African ports is having a negative effect on all major route schedules for both imports and exports.


The port has experienced low wind speeds during the week.

  • Pier 1 : 7-8 days delay
  • Pier 2 : 14-20 days delay
  • Durban Point : 3 days delay



The port has experienced strong wind speeds during the week.

  • CTCT : 4-8 days delay
  • MPT : 1-2 days delay



The port has experienced windy weather during the week.

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


ASIA PACIFIC (Including Oceania)    


Capacity constraints & booking backlogs continue to worsen as more bank sailings and vessel roll-overs are planned for June – Severe container shortages are exasperating the situation – The consequences being:


  1. Further rate increases are expected over the next few weeks.
  2. Capacity is severely constrained – with some origins & carriers advising that space for new bookings will only be made available in the latter half of June.



  • No berthing delays 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 day experienced at Ningbo and Shanghai ports.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Yantian port and 1 day at Shekou port.



  • No berthing delays experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port



  • Berthing delays of 3 days being experienced at this port. Delays experienced due to bunching of vessels and congestion experienced at the port. FCL containers transhipping in Singapore have expected delays of plus 3 weeks.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Kaohsiung port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Bangkok port.



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



Transhipment ports servicing Europe continue to struggle with massive demand. Delays continue to impact the region with amended port rotations, vessel changes, rolled schedules and blank sailings increasing in frequency.


  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Antwerp port. PSA 913: Slight reduction in berth capacity with ongoing construction works which will last for two weeks.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Le Havre port.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Hamburg port and 2 days at Bremerhaven port.



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



  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Rotterdam port.



  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Barcelona port.



  • No berthing delays experienced at Gothenburg port.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Istanbul port.



  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at London Gateway port.




  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Luanda port.



  • Increased berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Tema port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days 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 3 days experienced at Maputo port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Walvis Bay port.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Apapa port.



  • Reduced berthing delays of 9 days experienced at Dar es Salaam port. Delays are due to vessels bunching and high levels of congestion.





  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at this port.


  • Increased berthing delays of 10 days experienced at this port.


  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port. Negotiations between the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and both Canadian Class 1 railways have resulted with the assistance of federal mediators. Until a decision is rendered, there is minimal risk of a work stoppage.



Terminals Updates:

  • New York/New Jersey – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days. Turn times for Port Liberty Terminal Bayonne are running higher due to 1 RMG stack being out of service until June 3, 2024 Currently 110 / 166 minutes for single and double transactions, respectively
  • Norfolk – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Charleston – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days. Cargo Spillage at Wando Welch Terminal reduced berth space to 1 position for several days, increasing berth waiting time.
  • Savannah – Vessel waiting time is up to 5 days. Effective July 7, 2024, Georgia Ports will begin locking vessels expected to be at berth and working July 15, 2024. The first day of receiving (ERD) will be at 04:00 hrs. – 7 days prior to the vessel going to work. The terminal cut will be set at 16:00 hrs. – 2 days prior to the vessel going to work.
  • Miami/Port Everglades – Vessel waiting time is up to 4 days.
  • Houston – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Los Angeles/Long Beach – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Seattle – Vessel waiting time is up to 5 days. Husky has started a double flex start time of 06:00 hrs. on May 21, 2024, from Tuesday – Friday, to receive exports, empties and peel pile delivery. This will be a 2-week trial run to evaluate participation. Terminal 18 and Washington United Terminal will be closed on May 27, 2024.
  • Oakland – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days. Port of Oakland has started the bollard and fender replacement project at OICT, starting with Berth 55 through Berth 59. Project is expected to last into Q1 of 2025.




  • Increased berthing delays of 7 days experienced at Santos port.



Capacity constraints are being experienced on services out of the Indian Sub-Continent. This may lead to different transit times being achieved compared to what has been published.


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



  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Jebel Ali port.



Shipper fury as spot rates soar – and box lines ignore contracts:


North European shippers and freight forwarders are expressing anger over rapidly rising spot freight rates. Drewry’s WCI Shanghai-Rotterdam rates have surged 20% week-on-week to $4,999 per 40ft, with actual rates reportedly between $6,000 and $7,500, possibly reaching $10,000. The tight supply of vessels combined with high demand is causing a container shortage at key Asian export hubs. Carriers favoring higher-paying spot cargo over contracted volumes is frustrating customers, with some considering suspending shipments once current bookings are completed.

Across the market, similar trends are seen: WCI Shanghai-Genoa rates rose 15% to $5,494 per 40ft, transpacific rates on Drewry’s WCI increased 18% to $5,277 per 40ft, and Freightos’ FBX Asia-US west coast rates rose 12% to $4,333 per 40ft. Port congestion in Asia is worsening, with long vessel wait times in Shanghai, Singapore, Qingdao, and Ningbo. This situation is affecting secondary trades, with rates on the Asia-Middle East route nearing $4,000 per 40ft and expected to rise further. On the Asia-East Coast South America trade, spot rates have climbed back to late 2022 levels, with some Brazilian importers paying up to $8,231 per 40ft. Source.


Mounting container shortages creating ‘total havoc’:


Forwarders report a growing shortage of containers out of northern China due to a surprisingly strong market and reduced vessel capacity caused by the Red Sea crisis. Hans-Henrik Nielson, global development director at CargoGulf, described a severe shortage of 40-foot high cube containers, with containers barely arriving at ports before being quickly used again. Port congestion and disruptions are further complicating equipment planning, with significant delays at key ports like Shanghai, where vessel waiting times now range from three to 14 days.

Carriers, including CMA, ANL, Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, Cosco, HMM, and MSC, are struggling to obtain containers across many Chinese ports. The market’s strength is leading carriers to be more selective about bookings, and some beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) are seeking additional quotes to handle expected excess volume. Announced blank sailings for June will reduce capacity by 15-20%, worsening week-to-week fluctuations. As Nielson noted, the current demand defies earlier projections, leading to what he terms “covid19 shipper capitulation,” where securing space has become a priority despite the challenges. Source.


Security report identifies global maritime hotspots:


In late April, six maritime incidents were reported in the Red Sea, northern Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden, and East Africa, according to a global MS Risk/Price Forbes report. Other hotspots like the Gulf of Guinea and East/Southeast Asian waters reported no incidents from April 25-30. The report warns that vessels in these high-risk areas face threats of piracy and damage due to regional conflicts, despite the presence of international naval task forces.

An advisory emphasized that the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, and Indian Ocean remain dangerous, with tensions high and further attacks likely. A US Maritime Administration warning in March suggested vessels turn off their AIS transponders to avoid targeting, especially from Houthi forces. The advisory also noted the threat from Iran attempting to seize commercial vessels. Potential risks include vessel damage, seizure, and various forms of attacks from drones, missiles, and pirates. The European Union Naval Force indicated ongoing threats from Houthi rebels and Somali pirates. Source.


Baltimore refloats and moves MV Dali, with services set to resume:


The container ship MV Dali, which has been blocking the Port of Baltimore for nearly two months, is being refloated this morning, allowing Maersk to reopen some related service bookings. The MV Dali collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, halting vessel transits through the port. Despite the opening of temporary navigation channels, many large containerships remained unable to pass. Preparations for the refloat began on Sunday, and operations are now underway to move the MV Dali to a local marine terminal with the help of up to five tugboats. This process is expected to take at least 21 hours.

Meanwhile, Maersk has reopened bookings for its AGAS and AMEX services, set to call at Baltimore in early June. However, bookings for Transatlantic services and Baltimore exports on TP12 remain closed until channel conditions improve. The seafarers on board the MV Dali have been stranded on the ship due to visa issues and lack of communication with their families. Source


South Carolina ports close thanks to software problems:


The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) had to close Charleston port and its inland harbors yesterday due to a software issue. The ports are expected to reopen at 5 am today. The problem, detected on Sunday evening, is not believed to be a cybersecurity threat. SC Ports has warned of truck backups outside Charleston port and a queue of three containerships offshore waiting for the issue to be resolved. The authority is working diligently to restore systems and described the situation as “fluid.” Source


Canadian shippers await government decision as negotiations derail:


Canadian rail operators are relying on government intervention to prevent a nationwide rail strike rather than negotiating, according to the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) union. Bargaining began earlier this month with Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) after their collective agreement expired on December 31, 2023. A planned strike on May 22 was called off following a request from Canadian labour minister Seamus O’Regan for the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to assess potential national safety threats. The CIRB is determining which critical shipments must continue during a strike, delaying any strike action until their decision is made.

Negotiations have stalled, with TCRC accusing the companies of preferring arbitration over negotiation and hoping for government intervention. The union has pledged to strike once the CIRB process is complete, requiring a 72-hour notice. Meanwhile, industry concerns suggest that while essential services like energy and food might be protected, sectors like automotive and consumer goods may face disruptions, leading to congestion in Canadian and northern US ports and rail networks. Source


Panama Canal crossings resume, but some time before full normalisation:


All liner services affected by the Panama Canal transit limits have resumed normal operations this month. Services such as THE Alliance’s Asia-US East Coast routes, MSC’s Santana service, and the Asia-US East Coast service by Hapag-Lloyd and Wan Hai Lines were previously rerouted due to the Red Sea crisis at the end of 2023. Increased neo-panamax transit slots at the Panama Canal from May have enabled carriers to return these services, reducing round-trip transit times by 1-2 weeks. THE Alliance had omitted 37 sailings since late 2023, while MSC resumed westbound sailings of the Santana service on May 9, and Hapag-Lloyd and Wan Hai restarted westbound transits on May 7. Although canal transits have increased, fully easing the tonnage shortage will require lifting draught restrictions from 44 feet back to the normal 50 feet. Source


Gemini partners defend on-time target and promise cost competitiveness:


The container shipping industry has struggled to improve its schedule reliability beyond the mid-50% range. Despite this, the Gemini carriers, Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd, have set a 90% on-time target for their new global network, relying heavily on transhipment. Hapag-Lloyd’s senior director of strategy, Matthias Dietrich, stated that omitting direct calls at major ports like Antwerp and Hong Kong would not affect their ability to achieve high schedule reliability. He emphasized that customers prioritize space, reliability, and transit time over direct service, which can be prone to disruptions.

Dietrich explained that the Gemini carriers will have more control over their network operations, including feeder and shuttle services, allowing them to offer a reliable and cost-competitive hub-and-spoke system. While some skepticism remains about meeting the 90% on-time target, Hapag-Lloyd clarified that this figure pertains to vessel schedule reliability, whereas their 80% target refers to the on-time delivery of individual containers, factoring in transhipments. Source


Red Sea crisis turns Lome into key transhipment hub on MSC’s ex-Asia services:


Container lines are increasingly using transhipment connections to cope with longer transit times and schedule disruptions caused by diversions via the Cape of Good Hope. MSC has notably expanded its Indus Express service, which operates between India and the US east coast, to include a call at Lome, Togo. Lome is uniquely capable of handling large container ships up to 16,000 TEU, making it a strategic hub for MSC.

The expanded Indus Express itinerary includes weekly calls at Nhava Sheva and Mundra in India, enhancing MSC’s transhipment capabilities. This move aligns with MSC’s longstanding strategy to consolidate its Far East-West Africa trade at Lome Container Terminal, managed by its subsidiary Terminal Investment Ltd in partnership with China Merchants. With a significant investment plan to boost Lome’s capacity, MSC also promotes it as a gateway for landlocked countries like Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. Additionally, MSC’s acquisition of Bollore Africa Logistics has strengthened its presence in Africa, amidst growing regional feeder connections due to the Red Sea crisis and related disruptions. 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 Nel