Congestion at European Ports Increases

The Journal of Commerce reported that  shipping congestion at the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg is getting worse due to latent upgrades at ports, system outages and labor shortages.

Worsening bottlenecks at the Port of Rotterdam have alerted two short-sea and feeder lines to levy surcharges of almost US$100 per container.

Surcharges may also be introduced at one of the Port of Hamburg’s largest terminals, with the Port of Antwerp also nearing a state of cargo bottlenecks.

German feeder operator, Team Lines, has stated that the current situation in Rotterdam has not shown improvement since May when it witnessed berthing delays of up to two days.

Team Lines is planning to impose a surcharge of €75 ($102) per 20-foot container from August 1 until further notice for all vessels arriving at and departing from the ECT Delta and Euromax terminals to compensate for the extra costs caused by the congestion

OPDR, a German short-sea carrier, and Contargo, a leading container barge operator, are also looking at introducing surcharges.

The berthing delays at ECT Delta are also related to an upgrade involving the installation of five new quay cranes, automated guided vehicles and automated staking cranes.   Feeder carriers, barge operators and truckers are also bracing for delays at Europe’s second- and third-largest container ports, Hamburg and Antwerp, as longshoremen go on vacation at the height of the peak shipping season.

RCL Agencies Inc. will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further updates as they become available.