Freight & Logistics Update 6 December 2023

Freight & Logistics Update 6 December 2023

Good Day Clients & Partners,

This weeks Freight & Logistics Update as below. As always, 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.



Durban continues to be experience significant delays due to low productivity, bad weather and equipment failures. There are an average of 50 vessels out at anchor, with half of them being container vessels – Average waiting time at anchor ranges between 15 & 21 days.

The booking system for the collection of containers is still delayed by an average of 48 hours.

  • Pier 1 : 7 days
  • Pier 2 : 20-29 days
  • Durban Point : 3 days



Port berthing delays has improved. The port has reported windy weather during the week. High volumes of cargo and traffic experienced at Cape Town terminals.

  • CTCT : 3-7 days
  • MPT : 0-2 days



Cape Town is now the most improved port in South Africa with only 2 vessels out at anchor with berthing delays ranging between 2 to 7 days. Strong winds have negatively affected operations. Delays on the Container booking system mean container collections take between 24 & 48 hours.

  • PECT : up to 2 days
  • NCT : 0 days




  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Port Louis.



  • Berthing delays of 7 days experienced at Luanda port. Congestion experienced at the port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Tema port.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Apapa port.



  • Berthing delays of 11 days experienced at Dar es Salaam port. Slight reduced draft at berths 8-11 (10m)



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Mombasa port.



  • Berthing delays of 4 day experienced at Maputo port.



  • Berthing delays of 5 days experienced at Walvis Bay port.




Terminals Updates:

  • New York/New Jersey – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days.
  • Norfolk – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days. One crane down at Norfolk Int’l Terminal, however, no significant impact to the operations.
  • Savannah – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days. Berth 2 is back on line helping to reduce waiting times.
  • Charleston – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 day.
  • Miami/Port Everglades – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days.
  • Houston – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days. Due to vessel bunching the yard is facing congestion impacting the discharge productivity and extending port stays
  • Los Angeles/ Long Beach – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days.
  • Seattle – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Oakland – Vessel waiting time is up to 4 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.
  • 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 delays of 3 days experienced at this port.
  • Bad weather has begun on the North Atlantic and this is having mild impact on vessel schedules through Montreal. Once alongside, there are no issues with labour availability and there is positive productivity in the yard.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at this port.




  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Santos port.



  • The lower-than-usual water levels in the Gatun Lake are causing severe draft restrictions on vessels transiting the Panama Canal. This has caused a backlog of traffic waiting to pass through.




  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Antwerp port.
  • PSA 913 with ongoing bollard works, completion expected 08/12.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Hamburg port and 1 day at Bremerhaven port.
  • Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB): Berth 1+2 still closed for operations due to construction site for AGV operations, berth only usable as layby. Construction will continue until December. Ongoing shore power construction with challenges to operations for all piers at CTB.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at London Gateway port.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Barcelona port.



  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Genova port and 1 day at La Spezia port.
  • Weather-related Delays at North Tyrrhenian Ports: recent severe weather conditions, have impacted operations at North Tyrrhenian ports (Genoa, La Spezia, Leghorn, Civitavecchia, and Salerno). Terminal operational stops, continuous stop-and-go scenarios, and manoeuvring delays have been experienced. Vessel delays expected.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Rotterdam port. Labour facing challenges this week as all terminals in Rotterdam are having a busy week.



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Le Havre and 4 days Fos-sur-Mer port. Last week’s strike without major impact or backlog. This week another 1 hour nationwide strike was held. Minimum impact to operations.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Istanbul port.




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



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Colombo port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Jebel Ali port.


ASIA PACIFIC (Including Oceania)    

Hazardous commodity acceptance out of China remains a challenge as approval for loading remains subject to carriers’ stringent acceptance protocols. Capacity constraints are currently being experienced with carriers out of Asia.


  • Berthing delays of 1 day experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Kaohsiung port.



  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at this port.



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



  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this 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 Busan port.



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



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Port Kelang.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Bangkok port.



  • Berthing delay of 1 day being experienced. No delays experienced for transshipment cargo. Delays are expected for FCL containers transshipping in Singapore. Expected delays are between 1-2 weeks.



South Africa’s logistics crisis: congestion slightly down in Durban

Date: 30th November 2023

There appears to have been a slight improvement at the Port of Durban where equipment failure has caused critical congestion, causing vessels to wait at outer anchorage with as many 71 000 containers delayed by as long as three weeks.

Thankfully, whereas the number of ships idling at sea was more than sixty at the peak of the port’s logistics crisis, vessels at anchorage have decreased to 51, reported the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (Saaff).

In its Daily Supply Chain Movement Report released on Wednesday 29 November, the association gave the breakdown of waiting vessels as follows: 24 container ships, 11 dry bulkers, four break-bulkers, and 14 liquid tankers while two reported as “other” vessels. A total of 31 vessels were at berth.

Up the coast at the Port of Richards Bay, where congestion caused by ore exports has caused significant supply-chain snags resulting in the town’s road grid-locking and tipper trucks tail-backing far up the N2, Saaff said 18 vessels were at anchorage. Thirteen vessels were berthed.

The congestion at KwaZulu-Natal’s ports becomes clear considering the apparent lack of waiting time reported elsewhere in the country’s port system.

At the ports of Cape Town, Ngqura and Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha), two vessels each at the first two ports and four at PE were at anchorage by the time Saaff finalised its update. The Port of Cape Town, in particular, frequently lashed by bad weather but bolstered by equipment, especially rubber-tired gantry cranes, had significantly transformed throughput in recent days thanks to more gangs working more vessels because of access to more functioning machinery. The improved performance at Cape Town underscores what can be done through more equipment. [1]


Cranes for South Africa’s ports on their way

Date: 29th November 2023

Seven long-reach cranes are on their way to South Africa, which should help to lessen vessel congestion at the country’s ports.

The Port of Durban, in particular, is in drastic need of additional equipment as cargo processing inadequacies have led to inbound vessels waiting at outer anchorage, delaying as many as 71 000 containers from being offloaded for up to three weeks.

Transnet Board chair Andile Sangqu has said the badly needed cranes currently on route from Los Angeles, will be here by next week. “The acquisition of the cranes is a capital-intensive undertaking,” he said. “We must thank all our customers who have taken up an opportunity to work with us to find solutions and raise the finance to make it possible.”

He did not indicate at what ports the cranes will be utilised and what the operational timeframe of the equipment is. [2]


Cape Town Container Terminal clears vessel backlog

Date: 29th November 2023

The Cape Town Container Terminal (CTCT) cleared most of its backlog, berthing vessels on arrival with only one vessel at anchor on Tuesday as the terminal takes measures to improve efficiencies during the deciduous fruit season. [3]


Panama Canal Congestion could Hit Suez

Date: 24th November 2023

Unprecedented congestion at the Panama Canal could ultimately result in delays at Egypt’s Suez Canal, potentially affecting cargoes of liquefied natural gas, according to a top official at Greek shipping giant Angelicoussis Group.

“Suez will need to take a lot more vessels” as a result of the crisis in Panama, Sveinung Støhle, the company’s deputy chief executive officer, said at a conference in Athens. “That means that the waiting time on both ends likely will increase.”

The Suez Canal, an alternate route for vessels traveling between the US and Asia, has handled congestion issues “very well over the years,” making it “less of an issue, but obviously it’s something you need to be aware of,” Støhle said. Suez has a larger capacity than the Panama waterway, enabling it to handle more ships per day. [4]


Box lines plot a course for Indian trades as the economy grows

Date: 30th November 2023

Container lines – trying to weather demand downturns in traditional or high-volume markets – are pouring more tonnage into Indian trades, as the emerging economy is forecast to grow faster than its larger counterparts, notably China.

India-US trade seems to be a big bet in the capacity rationalisation game, as carriers expect a trade boost from diversifying supply chain patterns in the Asian region.

Singapore-based liner Ocean Network Express (ONE) this week announced a new solo connection between West India and US east coast, further cementing its already expansive network profile out of India. “The main commodities include FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), such as electronics, perishables, such as foodstuff, and retail goods, including textile and apparel,” he added. [5]


To use greener fuel, carriers must plan much further ahead to ensure supplies

Date: 1 st December 2023

Shipping lines now have to look even further ahead when buying alternative fuels, instead of the short-term vision adopted when conventional fuel oil was burned.

Ocean Network Express’ (ONE) deputy general manager of fuel Richard Ho, disclosed at the Marine Fuels 360 conference in Singapore this week that the uncertainties surrounding the availability of various alternative fuels meant that ship operators had to think longer-term as the world moves towards decarbonisation by 2050.

Mr Ho said: “We used to be looking at marine fuel-buying for the near term, three to six months, and adopted and adapted accordingly. The moment we go into a new marine fuel, we’re looking at a multi-year horizon, to make sure we can procure a certain level of alternative fuels, whether it’s ammonia or methanol.”

“Each shipping company is in a different stage of development. They also have different stages of decarbonisation, in various ways. There’s going to be an increase for different fuels with the growth of the global economy, but with respect to every shipping line, the demand within each organisation may differ, depending on its decarbonisation effort”, Mr Ho said. [6]


Fleet-heavy ocean carriers also stuck with too many containers

Date: 28th November 2023

Not only do ocean carriers have too many ships, they also have too many containers to fill vessels that are being deployed. In its latest Container Equipment Forecaster report, Drewry says it expects the global pool of shipping containers to contract, both this year and next.

Some 55million teu of equipment services the fully cellular global fleet of some 6,000 ships, a total capacity of 28m teu, but thousands of surplus boxes lie stacked in empty-container depots, incurring storage charges on top of a daily lease-hire rate.

“The last time the container pool posted a year-on-year decline was at the time of the global financial crisis between 2008 and 2009, when the total number of containers in service fell by 3.7%, to 26.9m teu,” said the consultant.

Moreover, for the 50% of boxes that are carrier-owned, lines are struggling to offload ageing equipment into the saturated second-hand market. According to container logistics platform Container xChange, the average resale price for a 40ft highcube cargo-worthy container had fallen to just $1,005 in October, compared with a high of $4,132 in the same month of 2021. [7]


ONE Sets New Cargo Record

Date: 27th November 2023

Shipping line Ocean Network Express is claiming a new world record with the loading of 21,954 twenty-foot equivalent (TEUs) containers on board a single ship.

The record was set earlier this month by the M/V ONE Integrity in the Port of Singapore. ONE Integrity is one of six new 24,000-TEU-capacity “megamax” class ships in ONE’s fleet.

Ocean Network Express was formed in 2017 through the integration of the liner businesses of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (“K” LINE), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK). The company currently ranks as the world’s sixth-largest container carrier with a fleet of over 225 ships representing approximately 1.69 million TEU.[8]



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

  1. https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/south-africas-logistics-crisis-congestion-slightly-down-durban
  2. https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/cranes-south-africas-ports-their-way
  3. https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/cape-town-container-terminal-clears-vessel-backlog
  4. https://gcaptain.com/panama-canal-congestion-could-hit-suez/
  5. https://theloadstar.com/box-lines-plot-a-course-for-the-indian-trades-as-the-economy-grows/
  6. https://theloadstar.com/to-use-greener-fuel-carriers-must-plan-much-further-ahead-to-ensuresupplies/
  7. https://theloadstar.com/fleet-heavy-ocean-carriers-also-stuck-with-too-many-containers
  8. https://gcaptain.com/one-sets-new-cargo-record/


As always, the Inter-Sped team will do their utmost to ensure we provide the very best services & outperform the industry as a whole.


Best Regards

Linda & The Inter-Sped Team