Cruise ship delays and backlogs spill over most of the world’s trade routes
While much of the attention has been focused on congestion at major ports stretching from Southern California to Felixstowe in the UK, backlogs impact most major trade routes. Beyond the Chinese ports where much of the trade originates from, ports in Asia have a growing number of vessels awaiting access and, globally, liner service delays have reached. new heights this summer.
“Most transactions show very large increases in delays, indicating that congestion issues leading to delays are indeed prevalent globally and are not limited to a few large key transactions,” says Alan Muphy, CEO from Sea-Intelligence, a research and analysis company that tracks the global procurement industry. Murphy, however, notes that their latest data shows a very large discrepancy for the extent of the delay on different trade routes.
Sea-Intelligence’s October update of its Global Liner Performance report shows that 32 of the 34 trade routes tracked in the report show increased delays compared to a baseline average from 2016 to 2019. The average delay above baseline in September was three and a half days. , the Asia-West Coast routes in North America with the longest wait of eight and a half days. The routes between North America and Asia or Europe and Asia show the greatest increases, which also has an impact on many other routes.
“You can see that a few individual transactions are unaffected and have essentially the same magnitude of delays as before the pandemic. These relatively less impacted trade routes are mainly connected to South America, both Europe and North America, ”said Murphy.
Southern California remains the epicenter of the delays. Despite increasing efforts to increase the movement of containers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, yesterday, November 2, San Pedro Bay again set a record set two weeks ago with 44 container ships waiting at the -beyond the anchorage. Another 33 container ships are at anchor with a total of 104 vessels of all types awaiting space in the terminals of the two ports. Another 41 ships, including 19 container ships, are expected to arrive before the end of the week, with the Marine Exchange of Southern California indicating the trend remains stable in the near term.
Bloomberg, who has also been tracking delays at ports, reports that he’s seeing increasing levels of congestion at Asian ports outside of China. Their calculations show Singapore is 22% above normal levels with 53 container ships at anchor on November 1. They also cite increasing delays at other ports, including Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Sea-Intelligence says early 2020 will be the start of global delays largely related to the start of the pandemic. “After a brief period of improvement in the summer of 2020, the delays then intensified considerably in late 2020 and early 2021,” according to Sea-Intelligence. The problems continued to worsen during the summer and fall of 2021, with a peak of 3.93 days reached in August 2021.
Experts across the supply chain, including recent comments from Maersk, Hapag and others, all point out that congestion and delays persist until 2022.