1.9m teus from Suez Canal blockage set to swamp major container ports around the globe

Some 1.9m teu in capacity caught up in the closure of the Suez Canal is starting to swamp major container ports around the globe.

According to supply chain visibility company project44, the 1.9m teu in capacity held by the six day closure of the Suez Canal from 23 – 29 March is set to swamp ports that were already at the limits of their capacity following the boom in the container trades from the second half of last year.

The largest volumes are, not surprisingly, set to hit some of the main hubs on the Asia – Europe trade.

According to project44 there was some 370,000 teu of capacity en route to Singapore, with 83 vessels representing 299,310 teu already anchored or at berth as of 12 April.

Chief Executive of the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore Quah Ley Hoon said on Monday that the world’s largest transhipment hub was readying itself as a catch-up port to handle the anticipated shipping backlog.

Looking at Rotterdam 15 ships representing 196,600 teu will arrive over the next week, lining up behind 85 ships already at berth or waiting to enter the port.

The backlog could further exacerbate port delays according to project44, with delays on Shanghai – Rotterdam standing at one week compared to a median of 2.79 days in 2020.

In terms of the other ports New York is seeing 76,500 teu that has either having arrived or still inbound from the Suez Canal incident; Port Klang, at 103,900 teu; and Jebel Ali some 75,879 teu.

“The Suez Canal incident brings home the message that shippers must be prepared for unexpected disruptions in their supply chain,” said Josh Brazil VP Marketing project44.

“With real-time visibility and advanced alerting capabilities, disruptions as well as the ability to form strategies to avoid them, are more manageable than ever before.”


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