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Maersk continues vessel diversions as Felixstowe congestion rolls on

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Supply chain congestion continues to hamper shippers in the United Kingdom, leading to further vessel omissions at the Port of Felixstowe from shipping line A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk).

“The current supply-chain bottlenecks in the United Kingdom continues to negatively affect our customers as well as our service network. The ongoing situation with congestion and port disruptions prolong each port stay our vessels make and significantly disrupts their normal schedules,” the Danish line noted.

To mitigate further disruptions, Maersk is relocating its ME7 westbound call from Felixstowe to London Gateway.

The first vessel and voyage to relocate will be the W Klaipeda, of which its Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) is 18.00 1 November.

Constraints in capacity driven by a lack of truck drivers are causing several challenges, including terminal congestion in key ports such as Felixstowe with limited inland haulage options.

Last week Felixstowe was forced to suspend the return of empty containers due to a very high yard density and increasing dwell times in the container yard. 

“We are seeing increased consumer demand due to retailers stocking up for Christmas,” Maersk wrote in an advisory.

“To ease the supply chain bottlenecks, we have asked you to divert the return of empty Maersk containers to alternative locations around the country. With limited options to discharge containers oceanside, we have also made the decision to temporarily divert certain vessels to alternative ports,” the company added.

Utilising smaller vessels to take containers to intended destinations, Maersk said its “top priority” is to avoid further port congestion and disruptions.

Though Felixstowe has reopened its gates, Maersk added it is imperative to reduce the empty flows and the company will accept haulage returns to other locations.

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