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China: Severe Container Shortage at Pandemic Levels

If you’re booking containers from China/Asia to the UK and Europe, you should be aware of the current situation.


Widespread capacity issues have returned for ocean freight services from Asia. And it’s escalated to a new level, with several Chinese ports reporting severe container shortages.




In circumstances similar to the initial surge in demand during the early days of the pandemic, there is a significant increase in demand for vessel space and containers.

 

This has resulted in significant disruptions at multiple ports in Northern China and is having a major impact on booking availability. In many instances, carriers must wait for vessel arrivals to unload empty containers and immediately turn them around for export.

 

Which ports are most affected?

Shanghai, Ningbo, Qingdao, Tianjin and Yantian

 

How is the shortage affecting rates?

The demand for available containers is pushing rates upwards, and we can expect them to continue rising steeply.

 

What level of delays are we facing?

Vessel waiting times at Shanghai are reported to be 3-14 days. Due to the imbalance of empty containers, we can expect delays of around 12 days to reach the UK.

 

AWL is on the case

The AWL team is working hard to secure space in this challenging setting. While we’re doing everything we can behind the scenes to get containers away and keep shipments moving, please book as early as possible to avoid delays.


 

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