Maersk is diverting its container ships from the Port of Felixstowe as the port struggles to cope with the volume of cargo passing through during this peak season due to a shortage of HGV drivers and congestion builds up.
The carrier has also steered reefer equipment into London Gateway to support a smooth equipment flow and meet its evacuation plans, while also offering additional storage at Tilbury Port to avoid negatively impacting its yard density.
“It is imperative we continue to reduce the empty flow at the port, we will continue to accept merchant haulage returns to other UK ports (with the exception of London Gateway),” said Maersk in a statement.
The port has since imposed controls on the number of empty containers it accepts, turning away vessels away unless the situation improves.
In a previous update, Maersk said it was tirelessly working to increase the uplift on vessels and to find additional berthing windows to bring in extra loaders at Felixstowe.
Congestion has become a significant global issue in the maritime industry on the back of the last 18 months through the COVID-19 pandemic and has caused many problems for supply chains and has disrupted global shipping and transport logistics.
According to Peter Sand, Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO, Chinese New Year 2023 is the “bold view” for relief of intense pressure on the supply chain.